Summary and book reviews of A New Song by Jan Karon

A New Song

By Jan Karon

A New Song
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  • Hardcover: Apr 1999,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2000,
    416 pages.

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Book Summary

In A New Song, Mitford's longtime Episcopal priest, Father Tim, retires. However, new challenges and adventures await when he agrees to serve as interim minister of a small church on Whitecap Island. He and his wife, Cynthia, soon find that Whitecap has its own unforgettable characters: a church organist with a mysterious past, a lovelorn bachelor placing personal ads, a mother battling paralyzing depression. They also find that Mitford is never far away when circumstances "back home" keep their phone ringing off the hook.

In this fifth novel of the beloved series, fans old and new will discover that a trip to Mitford and Whitecap is twice as good for the soul.

Chapter One: Angel of Light

Dappled by its movement among the branches of a Japanese cherry, the afternoon light entered the study unhindered by draperies or shades.

It spilled through the long bank of windows behind the newly slip-covered sofa, warming the oak floor and quickening the air with the scent of freshly milled wood.

Under the spell of the June light, a certain luster and radiance appeared to emerge from every surface. The tall chest, once belonging to Father Tim's clergyman great-grandfather, had undergone a kind of rebirth. Beneath a sheen of lemon oil, the dense grain of old walnut, long invisible in the dark rectory hallway next door, became sharply defined. Even the awkward inscription of the letter M, carved by a pocketknife, could now be discovered near one of the original drawer pulls.

But it was the movement and play of the light, beyond its searching incandescence, that caused Father Tim to anticipate its daily arrival as others might look for...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The Mitford Years Book I
At Home in Mitford

  1. What role does Barnabas play in Father Tim's life? What other characters seem to invade Father Tim's already busy life, only later to prove enriching elements? Are there any that are a permanent drag on his spirits? How does Father Tim come to terms with them?
  2. Dooley appears on the scene untamed and uninvited. What is it that finally makes Father Tim and Dooley aware that they need each other? How does Dooley contribute to Father Tim's life? Have you had "Dooleys" in your own life?
  3. Choose two of your group members to read the dialogue between Dooley and Puny in the middle of Chapter Seven -- the scene where they first meet. How does the dialect differ in your ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

A story of small traumas and small victories, Karon's account manages to avoid the worst excesses of sentimentality and to provide a rather charming portrait of life in the slow lane.

Publishers Weekly

Newcomers to the series may find they have much to catch up on, but readers making a return trip to the Kavanaghs' world will be happily swept up in the maelstrom of small-town and spiritual drama that characterizes the novel.

Library Journal

As usual, Father Tim handles it all with the generous faith and soul-healing warmth that has made Karon's books popular in public libraries and best sellers for Christian book stores.

USA Today

Literary comfort food.

Reader Reviews
Freda

A New Song
I love every book in the Mitford series, but I wonder what became of Kenny Barlowe. Does he show up later and I'd like to see what happens to Sammy.

Darleen Barger

I have read all five of the books in the Mitford Series and find them all excellent. Once you begin to read them it is as if you are a part of the life in Mitford.
I am so looking forward to the next book in the series. I want to see what happens to ...   Read More

Anonymous
Judy
I just finished reading the Mitford Series by Jan Karon, best books I have
ever read. She makes you feel as though you're there in the room with them. I'm
disappointed in the ending of A New Song as I'm not sure who Father Tim meets on
his walk on ...   Read More

Anonymous
Diane
I've enjoyed reading the Mitford series; however, I was disappointed in the majority of A New Song. At least the first half of the book appears to be a reprint of Out To Canaan. A brief synopsis of previous books may have been appropriate for ...   Read More

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