Home to Holly Springs
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Home to Holly Springs

4.12 (8,836 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Join Father Tim on a profoundly personal journey back to his childhood home. Thirty-eight years have passed since Father Tim Kavanagh left his Mississippi hometown, determined not to return. Then he receives a handwritten note postmarked Holly Springs. Cryptic and unsigned, it says only Come home. These two words compel him to make the most challenging journey of his life. Traveling to his boyhood home doesn't merely take Father Tim across hundreds of miles. Thanks to a thousand sights and smells, he also travels back through memories--some fond and some he's tried for nearly forty years to forget, from his quick-to-anger father and his lovingly tender mother to the picturesque small town he'd tried desperately to leave behind. And once Father Tim discovers who was behind the mysterious note, a truth is revealed that will change his life--forever.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 355 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 35.56mm | 612.35g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143114395
  • 9780143114390
  • 92,183

Review quote

? Mitford fans, rejoice! . . . Father Tim answers the summons?and learns that you can go home again.? ?"The Washington Post"? Lovely . . . This is Karon's most emotionally complex novel.? ?"USA Today" ? Karon holds varying aspects of humanity up to the light, from staggering cruelty . . . to the awesome power of love and forgiveness.? ?"The Atlanta Journal- Constitution" ? Mitford fans will enjoy this newest visit with wise, winsome, lovable Father Tim.? ?"Publishers Weekly"
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About Jan Karon

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith. Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since." Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says."I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk." Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."
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Rating details

8,836 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 41% (3,592)
4 36% (3,203)
3 19% (1,643)
2 4% (318)
1 1% (80)

Our customer reviews

Seventy-year-old Timothy Kavanaugh, the now retired Episcopalian minister of Jan Karon's beloved Mitford series, who lives in Mitford, NC, with his wife, the former Cynthia Coppersmith, and their adopted son Dooley, receives a mysterious, unsigned letter postmarked Holly Springs, MS, which simply tells him to "Come home." Cynthia has broken her ankle and Dooley is in college, so Tim hops in the car with his huge dog Barnabas and drives alone to Holly Springs, where he was born and raised but hasn't been back in forty years. There he looks for long-lost friends, confronts the ghosts of the past, and wrestles with the demons of his upbringing. But will he ever find who wrote the note and what it is all about? And if he does, what will he do about it? I read and enjoyed At Home in Mitford, the first of Karon's Mitford series, but have not read any of the others which follow. However, when my wife bought this book, the first in Karon's new Father Tim series, I decided to read it. While set in time subsequent to the last Mitford novel, it covers the early days of Tim and his family in Holly Springs via numerous flashbacks and reminiscences. USA Today says, "This is Karon's most emotionally complex novel." One could take "emotionally complex" as a synonym for "morally ambiguous." At Home in Mitford, and I am told the other Mitford novels, have a certain light-hearted charm. Most reader-reviewers of Home to Holly Springs liked it, but a significant number of people who loved Mitford did not like this book because of its psychological nature, uneven narrative, lack of charm, tedious detail, and especially the stories of teenage sex, unwed pregnancy, attempted rape, and adultery. My wife was among those who did not care for it as well as the Mitford books. Jan Karon is a good writer, and I found that the book has an interesting plot line, although it does drag a little at times. There are many positive aspects to it. However, one's final decision about the book might hinge on how one views Tim's reaction to learning about his father's adultery. Does he feel that it's something in the past that can't be changed and he simply goes on from there without necessarily condoning what happened? Or does he come to believe that maybe the fact that his father found someone with whom he could show the love that he never gave Tim's mother is just one of those facets of life and he shouldn't be judgmental? I would like to think that it's the former, but my wife concluded that it might have been the latter. Aside from this, there are a few instances of drinking whiskey. As to language, in addition to some common euphemisms and childish slang terms for body parts and functions, several references to the "s" word that was written on the water tower are found, although the word itself is never used, the words God and Lord are uttered a couple of times as interjections, and the "d" word modifies "Yankees" once and is part of the name of a mule owned by Tim's childhood friend mentioned a number of times. The worst for me is that someone is said to be "white a**," or to "kick a**," or to be "bad a**," or to be "hard a**," or to be a "pain in the a**," or to be a "rat's a**," or to say "my a**." Karon may have chosen such language because she thinks that it makes her characters sound "authentic." I think that it just makes them sound annoying. I like the fact that Tim is always acknowledging God and His grace, and the story does have a happy ending, but I think that it could have been told in a much better way.show more
by Wayne S. Walker
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