Out to Canaan

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Product Description

Thousands of readers have come home to Mitford, the little town with the big heart, whose endearing and eccentric residents have become like family members. But now change is coming to the hamlet. Father Tim, the Episcopal rector, and his wife Cynthia are pondering retirement; a brash new mayoral candidate is calling for aggressive development; a suspicious realtor with plans for a health spa is eyeing the beloved house on the hill; and, worst of all, the Sweet Stuff Bakery may be closing. Meanwhile, ordinary people are leading the extraordinary lives that hundreds of thousands of readers have found so inviting and inspiring. Peopled with the lovable cast of characters familiar to so many, and peppered with plenty of new and colorful personalities, Out to Canaan is filled to the brim with the mysteries and miracles that make everyday life worth living, and that make Mitford one of the most memorable small towns in recent literature.

Mix one part All Creatures Great and Small with two parts Lake Wobegon, sprinkle a little Anne of Green Gables and get: Mitford, the pinnacle of provincial life, where homespun wisdom, guarded tradition, and principled faith are the precepts of good living. Jan Karon, purveyor of so-called "gentle fiction," continues the series that began with At Home in Mitford, in Out to Canaan. The patriarch of the tightly bound community of Mitford, North Carolina, is Father Timothy Kavanaugh, a.k.a. legal counsel, psychologist, foster parent, headhunter, husband, political analyst, and rector of his congregation. He is always there to lend a helping hand, a kind word or bit of advice, which believe it or not, makes for an incredibly busy schedule in this quiet, country town.

Longtime mayor Esther Cunningham, revered for preserving the traditions of the town, finds a formidable foe in Mack Stroupe, a free-spending industrialist who stands for the two most reviled words in Mitford: change and development. If that isn't enough, a suspicious company called "Miami Development" wants to buy Sadie Baxter's home--a Mitford landmark--and turn it into a hoity-toity spa. Father Tim has his hands full again with Dooley, his foster child who is back from prep school for the summer. The good rector continues to doctor Dooley's troubled past by locating his siblings, Poohbaw and Jessie, and finding their alcoholic mother, Pauline, work. The plethora of intricately woven, cozy vignettes makes Out to Canaan a potpie of warm, country reading. --Rebekah Warren

Customer Reviews:

  • Loved it
    I just loved this book. I am reading the Mitford series and getting to know the characters. It's great to have a respite from our busy world. This book had me laughing out loud in a few places. ...more info
  • The Prayer that Never Fails
    Father Tim Kavanaugh, the ever-stuck-in-the-mud pastor of the Episcopalian Lord's Chapel, has finally decided, with his wife's help, to make some big changes. His good friend, Bishop Stuart Cullen, comes to the Chapel to announce that Father Tim plans to retire in eighteen months.

    Father Tim soon realizes that a year and a half is not nearly long enough to complete the tasks the Lord has given him in Mitford. He must sell Miss Sadie's grand mansion which she willed to the church, ensure that Hope House is running a tight ship for the elderly, and find him and his wife a new place to live. Not to mention, a slightly shady real estate agency is trying to make questionable deals throughout Mitford, and a new candidate is trying to oust Esther Cunningham from her long-held spot taking care of Mitford's own as its mayor.

    These grand happenings are, as always, secondary to the interpersonal relationships that are always on Father Tim's mind. His foster son, Dooley, is maturing; and two other young girls are brought into his life. Buck Leeper, the abrasive constructin foreman, may be ready to make some changes; and Puny Guthrie's twins have started calling him granpaw. It is these people, that make up Mitford, that always make Karon's books so compelling. The reader of the series feels as if she knows the characters, and is always moved to find out more about what makes them tick.

    Out to Canaan will be cherished by all faithful readers of the Mitford books!...more info

  • Another enjoyable book in the Mitford series.
    Once again we find ourselves in Mitford. Now, however, this peaceful little town finds itself in the midst of many uncertain changes. Father Tim is thinking about retirement, much to the chagrin of his congregation. Some think that change and development is what is needed in order for Mitford to keep up in the world. But are the townspeople ready for such changes?...more info
  • Jan Karon Leaves You Wanting MORE!
    A friend from California sent me all four books while I was recovering from ankle surgery. I couldn't stop reading! All four books are a delight, and I can't wait for the fifth (I've heard it is on the way!) to be available. The characters are all so well-developed, they feel like old friends. I've started 3 friends on the series, and they're all hooked. Thanks Jan Karon for bringing the wonderful village of Mitford to print!...more info
  • Best series I have read in a long time!
    I cannot tell you what pleasure this series brought to me. My husband even liked it and we read 2-3 chapters a night until all were done. The story line is very realistic - not every situation had a happy ending - and it really brought to light how difficult life can be. I am anxiously awaiting a new novel or continuation of this series!...more info
  • Great read!
    This is the fourth in a series of books by Jan Karon. The development of the characters builds in the series. Out to Canaan is a great read, and I will read it again....more info
  • A Wonderful Continuation!
    Father Tim and Cynthia are contemplating their future in this book, but in the midst of it all, is too much happening at once. Father Tim who is the legal counsel, psychologist, foster parent, political analyst, and rector of his congregation, is always there to lend a helping hand or advice. Also, longtime mayor, Esther Cunningham, revered for preserving traditions of the town, finds a formidable foe in Mack Stroupe, a free spending industrialist who stands for the two most reviled words in Mitford; change and development. Father Tim, once again has his hands full with Dooley, his foster son. Dooley is back from Prep school for the summer, and the good rector is trying to doctor Dooley's past. Father Tim managed to locate two of Dooley's siblings, Poohbaw, and Jessie,and found his alcoholic mother, Pauline as well.

    Another hard to put down book!...more info

  • Charming! Irresistible! Best of the Series!
    The best series of books I've ever read! Read all four! You won't regret it! I can't wait to go back to Mitford!...more info
  • Delicious is the best word to describe Karon's books.
    Just wonderful, all four books. Hope the 5th one is on the way soon. I have shared my copies with about 15 different people and they all agree Karon is a must read....more info
  • A First Visit
    This volume was my first visit to Mitford but it will not be my last. Jan Karon is a master story teller-one who can weave Christian values, the reality of today's troubled world, with a close knit hometown. Father Tim and his wife are getting ready to retire and while they look forward moving around and serving different churches, they are going to miss Mitford and all their friends. I found myself laughing out loud at some of goings on and crying when Pauline's lost child is found. These books are fresh and heart warming and a far cry from my usual choice of mysteries. Bored with the usual? Take a trip to Mitford and come away smiling, with a song in your heart and your spirit renewed....more info
  • Unable to review as I have not yet received it.
    I have still not received it!...more info
  • Out to Canaan-A Story for Everyone
    I got hooked on the Mitford series back to the very first book. The thing I like about Out to Canaan is how you get to see the people of this town grow. It's a story that I think that everyone can relate to. I read this story and I could think of anyone in a small town in America just like the people of Mitford. It is a story that I highly recommend. It's a great read for the whole family....more info
  • Change and Decay All Around I see, Lord Abide with Me
    The small town experiences modern life -- change. From the hysterical mayorial battle to the bakery shutting down, Tim and Cynthia look forward to retirement. Dooley's future and their own become intermingled in this volume. The author is amazing to keep up the tone and interest and build the plot and characters on where she left off. I don't find her losing much of this pace until the end of #5, but maybe when I get into the recently released #6, I'll discover her genius or maybe she just got tired. Always toughest to land a plane or finish a sermon or a book....more info
  • Can't bare to Share!
    I loved this series so, that I bought the whole set and can't bare to part with even one. I want to read them again and again! Can't wait for the next one.......more info
  • I loved this book and was so sad when I finished reading.
    this book was the last of a series of books that was so uplifting. So many things I read were so relevant to my life in my community. How I wish I could be in Mitford and know all the characters that lived there. What a beautiful place to be and the church sounded like a great one to be a part of too. I recommend this to anyone who loves life and other people. It is a positive outlook when so much we read is negative. I enjoyed the Christian outlook. What a witness the father is!...more info
  • I love this series!!!
    As my title indicates, I love this entire series! The characters have become old friends, and I feel as though I'd love to go out to lunch with them, or -- even better -- have a backyard barbeque together! This is a series that makes me turn off the TV and "settle in" for a good time with old friends!...more info
  • This book is an anomaly--and yet, completely enthralling!

    This is the first book I've read by Jan Karon, and I must admit that I was enthralled. It is the fourth in a series, "The Mitford Years." I probably should have read the previous three books first, usually a good plan with a series like the long Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. But this book stands alone very well. Oddly, I'm now starting the sixth book in the series, "A Common Life: The Wedding Story," in which the events described obviously precede the events in "Out of Canaan." I'm frankly perplexed that Karon would write them apparently out of order.

    "Out of Canaan" is the story of the rector of an Episcopal church, his wife and friends in the very small southern community of Mitsford. In fact, nearly the entire population of 200 souls seems to be involved in the story in some way. Everyone knows everyone else.

    This is really a good story. The protagonist and most of the other characters are devoted Christians, and there are many Christian references: Bible quotations, hymn lyrics, and other references. The story will probably not be appreciated by atheists, but may be of interest to folks of other religious faiths who can identify with the human feelings portrayed, and ignore dogma conflicts.

    Although there is some conflict in the plot--otherwise, there would be no story--one cannot characterize it as suspenseful. For those impatient people who demand suspense and a brisk pace toward the resulution of the conflict, this book might be characterized as "boring." For me, it was a delightful experience. If you like to read, and appreciate nice turns of phrase and realistic characters--the kind of people you know and meet every day--you'll probably enjoy this book. Personally, I loved it.

    Joseph H. Pierre

    ...more info

  • It's Ok
    The Mitford Series is for older Christian readers. This is a novel that you have to stick with to enjoy....more info
  • Thank you Jan Karon for your enjoyable Mitford series!!
    After a long,cold winter of reading alot of Oprah's suggested books, I found such a nice change of pace in Mitford.. I'm suggesting my husband and my daughter read them . Anyone who is tired of the foul language and depressing violence found in most bestsellers, should read all four of Jan Karon's books. I am anxiously awaiting for her fifth book ....more info
  • Lovely Series
    This book, like all the Mitford series, is predictable, but I don't mean that as a criticism, but to the point that good things happen to good people and sometimes we get to see Karma kick back in action. I do hope that Jan Karon keeps writing more of these books. They are as addictive as potato chips!...more info
  • Another Hit
    Jan Karon's Out to Canaan was another great book in the mitford series. It is a slow and laid back book on the surface, but is full of interesting stories and plot twists. It is a great book to read to get a break from life and other depressing books. Karon does a wonderful job of depicting the "ideal" life in a small mountain village. Just like all of the other Mitford books, Out to Canaan is a must read....more info
  • Out to Canaan-A Story for Everyone
    I got hooked on the Mitford series back to the very first book. The thing I like about Out to Canaan is how you get to see the people of this town grow. It's a story that I think that everyone can relate to. I read this story and I could think of anyone in a small town in America just like the people of Mitford. It is a story that I highly recommend. It's a great read for the whole family....more info
  • Good, Clean Reading
    I absolutely loved the Mitford Series! With all the gloom and doom in this world, it's nice to go back to a simpler and more wholesome way of life....more info
  • What a delightful book, couldn't put it down!!!
    I liked this book, because it was clean. No foul language, obscene scences or violence. It was very uplifting. A blend of seriousness and humor. I laughed out loud!...more info
  • The Mitford Series appeal to the heart and soul.
    The four Mitford books would be good at any time of year. The preacher, young boy, dog, and community members could be found in many towns. Meeting the characters, becoming their friends, participating in their lives, and experiencing their joys and problems touches the reader's life in an unforgettable way. It's difficult to realize that the books are fiction. These are the best books I have found in years....more info
  • The whole series is WONDERFUL
    I have read them all and loved each one of them. My only disappointment is that there has not been a new one in quite some time. I truly feel like I know each character,including Barnabus and they are all likeable and people you would like for neighbors in a town you would enjoy living in....more info
  • A good detective/mystery novel with interesting sub-plots
    The mystery novel seems to be lacking in the past ten years, but Karon does an excellent job of reviving the genre. Father Tim is the best undercover agent I've seen in years. His sleuthing powers are great. Out to Canaan has plot twists and surprises around every corner. Why only a 3 star rating/ Well, I couldn't figure out the addition of the parakeet selling widow in chapter 8 and it seemed to distract from the main plot too much. Be on the lookout for the mysterious Cynthia in Chapter 3, the vegetarian travel agent, she will surprise you in chapter 12. A good book for detective/mystery novel fans....more info
  • She's done it again!
    "I couldn't put it down" is an understatement. Once again, Jan Karon took me away from my reality and enveloped me in the Mitford world. It was a pleasure escaping to a small North Carolina town similar to the one where I grew up. It tuggs on the heart strings and the corners of your mouth. Enjoy!!!...more info
  • So when is Karon going to win the Gold Medallion Award?!?
    As always Jan Karon has written another great novel which took us all home to the place we'd most like to live! The the only other authors I've ever read who match Jan Karon in touching my heart to the core are Brock and Bodie Thoene. I couldn't believe I'd read a book I liked as much as Shiloh Autumn or their most recent Irish novel, Only the River Runs Free. The Thoene's just won their eighth ECPA Gold Medallion Award for Novel of the Year for Only the River Runs Free. That's some kind of record. In her own right, Jan Karon is every bit as wonderful a writer as Bodie Thoene and I never thought anyone could come close. I say it's time to give the prize to Jan Karon!...more info
  • Jan Karon's Mitford Series- Book 4
    Out to Canaan (The Mitford Years, Book 4)

    Most wonderful fiction series I've read in many years! I love Jan Karon's Mitford Season, and can't wait until the next ones come out. The characters have become so real to me, I feel like I've known them all my life. It's hard to find good Christian fiction, which are loved even by those who do not usually read Christian literature, but these fit the bill! I give them for gifts to many....more info
  • A Simple Pleasure
    Returning to the refreshing town of Mitford in the fourth book of the series was good for my soul. Delving into the lives of Father Tim and his parishoner's is the best medicine I know for relieving the day to day strain of life. This time in Mitford, changes are happening everywhere you turn. Father Tim and Cynthia are deciding about retirement, Buck and Pauline are faced with making life changing decisions, the town's long time Mayor is in a fight against an unscrupulous opponent in the mayoral election, and there is a mystery afoot with a Florida real estate company trying to buy several prime pieces of property. Who is behind the real estate offerings? Why does someone want to buy all the property? Why is Mack trying so hard to become Mayor of Mitford? Will Dooley ever get along with Lace? These questions are all answered as all ways as the story winds its way through the heart of Mitford and its readers. One of my favorite things about the Mitford books is how Father Tim's faith is portrayed. He lives his faith, everyday, with every decision. He moves me in his efforts to be fair and kind and responsive to the many missives he handles in his duties. Read and enjoy....more info
  • At Home in Mitford
    Fortunately, I was wise enough to begin this series with the first book. I am 66 years old, and just discovered Jan Karon! This story is one that tugs at your soul, and makes you want to find "Mitford" and live there with real people. I didn't want to put the book down, and yet didn't want it to end. I hope Jan Karon will continue to write for those of us who recall a time, place, and people in the Mitford series....more info
  • enjoyable
    In the fourth Mitford book, Father Tim manages to keep himself busy as usual. Fernbank must be sold, but the only potential buyer isn't making a very good offer. Father Tim must deal with the unhappiness of his parish after they hear of his impending retirement. The long-time Mitford mayor faces some stiff competition for the upcoming election, and there's something fishy about his campaign. Another enjoyable Mitford book....more info
  • Out To Canaan
    All of these books keep you going. At least they did me. You have to read it....more info
  • More Mitford mirth and miracles
    Jan Karon's charming North Carolina small town belongs with the great places of fiction: Macondo, Faulkner's unspellable county, the Louisiana of James Lee Burke, Egypt, Maine, and Hillerman's New West. The sense of place is such a hallmark of this series. And she populates it with such knowable and knowing characters who linger long after the last page of each new book unwillingly, but inevitably ends. There were events here that made me weep and lots that made me laugh. The simple, homespun, yet more theology of Father Tim resonates and redacts with power and sheer gorgeousness. I particularly enjoy, employ, and cherish his prayer than never fails: "Thy will be done." Potent powerful lessons of the human spirit and how it meshes with the divine unfold in pleasant, totally unpedagodical or pedantic reading. Unfortunately marketing this as Christian fiction limits its audience. This is great and mighty stuff for all readers, students of the way of the heart and spirit. Blessings in a book....more info
  • Look forward to her newest addition to Mitford
    To put it simply....the best series I've read in years. Have been passing these to my neighbor and we're anxiously awaiting her next installment. Bravo!!!...more info
  • The Best Yet in the Series
    This book is the best so far in the series. Isn't it just great when a series gets better and better instead of disappointing readers by declining? Jan Karon has done it again and writes a winner of a book. In this fourth book in the series, Father Tim's relationships with many of the characters evolves, as do the characters themselves....more info
    As the wife of an Episcopal priest, I was proud that someone wrote so explicitedly about how much hard work and great fun it can be to be in the ministry. Keron writes about all the unique stories that make-up the fabric of the minister's life yet doesn't neglect the real, day to day life with a spouse!...more info
  • Refreshing. Inspirational. "Feel good" read.
    All four books of this series are delightful. I have recommended them to all my friends. The characters became real and I couldn't wait to get by hands on each sequel. They are such a refreshing change from the murder mysteries and average, predictable romance novels. I can hardly wait to see what Karon comes out with next....more info
    I couldn't put it down. I got the first 3 Mitford books from a book exchange at work and had to order the rest so I'd know what was happening to everyone. Great read!...more info
  • Out of Cannan
    Item sold - exactly as stated online - item was delivered very fast and in perfect condition. ...more info
    By the time I finished reading "Out to Canaan," my mouth was literally watering for a piece of Esther's orange marmalade cake. Does somebody have the recipe for it somewhere??? As I closed this book, I realized with a pang in my heart that there was one more book left for me to read in this magnificent series. Then what do I do? Is there life after Mitford?...more info


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