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Publisher's Summary

After more than 38 years, Father Tim Kavanagh returns to his childhood home of Holly Springs, Mississippi, on a profoundly personal journey.

Whatever became of Tommy Noles, his forbidden childhood friend, and Peggy, the loving woman who was like his second mother? What were the facts behind the court trial that drove the Kavanagh family even further apart?

He figures Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again. Then he discovers the truth: A surprising number of connections have miraculously survived time and neglect.

In this first of the Father Tim novels, Jan Karon takes her celebrated Mitford character to territory he has long avoided, the uncharted territory of family, giving us a spellbinding and poignant narrative laced with the wisdom and forgiveness only a trip back home can inspire.

Don't miss more of Father Tim's adventures in Jan Karon's Mitford series.
©2007 Jan Karon (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Mitford fans will enjoy this newest visit with wise, winsome, lovable Father Tim." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vickie
  • Redlands, CA, USA
  • 12-26-07

The book is wonderful as always, but.....

The book was good, like everything in this series has been. Karon is a wonderful writer, and this book has new and interesting information about things that have been mentioned or alluded to in previous volumes.

BUT..... I hate to say it, but it was positively painful for me to listen to the narration of this new addition to the Mitford series. I realize that John McDonough would be a hard act to follow. However, it wasn't simply that I was wasn't hearing the kind, wise voice of Father Tim I was used to. I was prepared to hear a different voice and I really tried to like it. But although Scott Sowers is a good narrator using a nice mix of voice changes for the various characters, the overall feel of it was disconcerting. So many of the things Father Tim 'said' in Sowers voice came off sounding faintly smart-alecky instead of thoughtful. That probably wasn't the intent, but that's how it sounded to me. I'm resolved to having to hear a different narrator. I'm just not sure that Sowers was the best choice.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars


The book is great (as Ms. Karon's books are). However, I was disappointed in the narration. Not that it is not good narriation, but this is a character that has already been fully developed for audio and is unrecognizable in this narration. Fr Tim does not even come across as the same character.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Wild Blue, Yonder
  • 12-12-13

Interesting start to a new series

Any additional comments?

I have to say right up front that I really miss John McDonough's narration for the Mitford series. The new narrator was just too young to do the story justice. The character he is giving voice to is 70 years old the the reader sounded very young---too young. Further, the tone used in the reading made well known characters from the series sound flip and sarcastic.

My feelings are mixed about the book. The story was helpful in adding depth to the character of Father Tim by exploring things from his past only hinted at in the pervious books in the series. However, at times I found the whole thing a bit overly dramatic and heavy handed--and on occasion down right unbelievable. But in the end I am glad I listened to this first book in the new series as it was atmospheric and portrayed southern country life beautifully.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shelli
  • Myakka City, FL, United States
  • 11-26-08

Still a wonderful listen

Though accustomed to the other wonderful narrator who has done all of the Mitford books, I still found this recording quite nice. I recommend both the book and the recorded performance.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lodi
  • Manakin Sabot, VA, USA
  • 08-05-08

wrong narrator

I was so disappointed when I heard the first few words in this audiobook. I'm sure Scott Sowers is a fine narrator but not for Father Tim. He sounds sarcastic and cold compared to John McDonough. I will buy the book and read it, hearing McDonough's soft tones in my mind.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 08-04-08

Love Fr. Timothy

As all of the books about Fr. Tim, I enjoyed this one very much however it was very disapointing at first because the familiar voices of the characters were not the same. This different reader did not do justice to the people we thought we knew so well from all the previous books.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Wrong Narrator

Having listened to, and loved, the entire Mitford series, I was thrilled when "Home to Holly Springs" came out. The fact is though that I could not get past the first 5 minutes. The original narrator of the Mitford books, John McDonough, set the standard for who Father Tim was. He became Father Tim for me. Why they decided to change that is beyond me. Scott Sowers is a terrible choice. He sounds like he is in his 20's or 30's, not an elderly gentleman of 70 plus years.
On the bright side...I purchased the book and it was absolutely wonderful! I loved it. Now if Jan Karon came to her senses and allowed it to be rerecorded with Mr. McDonough!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I want more!!

This was my first Jan Karon story. I am hooked! I listen to my audiobooks while I drive and I found myself sitting in parking lots and even in my garage still listening.
The characters are so alive and fascinating. More more more please.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Positive about the Scott Sowers Narration

A new narrator was a good idea. I've listened to all the Mitford series and absolutely love John McDonough's voice. I wasn't sure I'd like the change. However, I soon realized that much of the voicing in the Holly Springs book is YOUNG Timothy and the southern voices of his childhood, therefore a change in narrator makes perfect sense. Scott Sowers is excellent!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • Louisville, KY, USA
  • 12-29-07

Good and Bad

A little too predictable, but still it's Jan Karon and Father Tim how could you not love it. The reader is good but he's no John McDonough, just takes some getting used to after Mr. McDonough has narrated the rest of the Mitford books. Overall if you love Father Tim and Jan Karon I'd say it's a good one to have in your library.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful