Excerpt from A New Song by Jan Karon, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A New Song

by Jan Karon

A New Song by Jan Karon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 1999, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2000, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Not if I can help it!"

He laughed as Cynthia trotted down the hall. "She usually can't help it." He expected a new children's book to break forth from his energetic wife any day now. Indeed, didn't she have a history of starting one when life was upside down and backward?

Emma munched on a piece of shortbread, showering crumbs in her lap. "Do you have those letters ready for me to do on th' computer?"

"Not quite. I wasn't expecting you 'til in the morning."

"I'm coming in th' morning, I just wanted to run by and tell you all th' late-breakin' news. But," she said, arching one eyebrow, "I haven't told you everything, I saved th' best 'til last."

His dog wandered into the study and crashed at his master's feet, panting.

"If you say you already know this, I'll never tell you another thing as long as I live. On my way here, I saw Mule Skinner, he said he's finally rented your house."

She drew herself up, pleased, and gulped the lemonade.

"Terrific! Great timing!" He might have done a jig.

"He said there hadn't been time to call you, he'll call you tonight, but it's not a family with kids like Cynthia wanted."

"Oh, well ..." He was thrilled that someone had finally stepped forward to occupy the rectory. He and Harley had worked hard over the last few months to make it a strong rental property, putting new vinyl flooring in the kitchen, replacing the stair runners, installing a new toilet in the master bath and a new threshold at the front door ... the list had been endless. And costly.

"It's a woman."

"I can't imagine what one person would want with all that house to rattle around in."

"How quickly you forget! You certainly rattled around in there for a hundred years."

"True. Well. I'll get the whole story from Mule."

"He said she didn't mind a bit that Harley would be livin' in the basement, she just wanted to know if he plays loud rock music."

Emma rattled the ice in her glass, gulped the last draught, and got up to leave. "Before I forget, you won't believe what else I found on th' Internet -- church bulletins! You ought to read some of th' foolishness they put out there for God an' everybody to see."

She fished a piece of paper from her handbag. "'Next Sunday,'" she read, "'a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of a new carpet. All those wishin' to do somethin' on the new carpet will come forward and do so.'"

He hooted with laughter.

"How 'bout this number: 'Don't let worry kill you, let th' church help.'"

He threw his head back and laughed some more. Emma's life in cyberspace definitely had an upside.

"By th' way, are you takin' Barnabas down there?" She enunciated "down there" as if it were a region beneath the crust of the earth.

"We are."

"I don't know how you could do that to an animal. Look at all that fur, enough to stuff a mattress."

Barnabas yawned hugely and thumped his tail on the floor.

"You won't even be able to see those horrible sandspurs that will jump in there by th' hundreds, not to mention lodge in his paws."

Emma waited for an argument, a rationale -- something. Did he have no conscience? "And th' heat down there, you'll have to shave 'im bald."

Father Tim strolled across the room to walk her to the door. "Thanks for coming, Emma. Tell Harold hello. I'll see you in the morning."

His unofficial secretary stumped down the hallway and he followed.

He was holding the front door open and biting his tongue when she turned and looked at him. Her eyes were suddenly red and filled with tears.

Text © 1999 Jan Karon. Reproduced with permission of the publisher, Viking.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport

    A masterful retelling of the Russian Revolution from the author of The Romanov Sisters.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

There is no worse robber than a bad book.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.