One of the most beloved novels in recent years, Plainsong was a best-seller from coast to coast—and now Kent Haruf returns to the High Plains community of Holt, Colorado, with a story of even more masterful authority.
When the McPheron brothers see Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they’d taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before them—and for many other townspeople it also promises to be a long, hard winter. A young boy living alone with his grandfather helps out a neighbor whose husband, off in Alaska, suddenly isn’t coming home, leaving her to raise their two daughters. At school the children of a disabled couple suffer indignities that their parents know all too well in their own lives, with only a social worker to look after them and a violent relative to endanger them further. But in a small town a great many people encounter one another frequently, often surprisingly, and destinies soon become entwined—for good and for ill—as they confront events that sorely test the limits of their resilience and means, with no refuge available except what their own character and that of others afford them.
Spring eventually does reach across the land, and how the people of Eventide get there makes for an engrossing, profoundly moving novel rich in the wisdom, humor, and humanity for which Kent Haruf is justly acclaimed.
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Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong, one of the most beloved novels in recent years, has wisely continued the franchise in Eventide, another foray into the prairie town of Holt, Colorado. We meet some of the same people--the McPheron brothers, Tom Guthrie and Maggie Jones, Victoria and her daughter Katie, and are introduced to new ones. Once again, the quirky bachelors Harold and Raymond McPheron, short on conversation and long on heart, form the sweet center of the book. The constants here are the brothers, the landscape--by turns hostile, demanding and renewing--and a few of the locals, whom we meet in varying degrees of their travails and redemption.
Victoria, the young pregnant woman the brothers took in in Plainsong, has gone off to college at Fort Collins, leaving the brothers standing at the kitchen counter, "drinking coffee and talking about how Victoria Roubideaux was doing a hundred and twenty-five miles away from home ... while they themselves were living as usual in the country in Holt County ... with so much less to account for now that she was gone, and a wind rising up and starting to whine outside the house." Much as Seinfeld was called the TV show about nothing, Haruf's books are so low-key and straightforward that a careless reader might miss the fact that they are about everything that life has to offer: love, sorrow, malice, understanding, and the connections that make and keep us human, to name a few.
DJ is an 11-year-old living alone with his grandfather, when he befriends two young girls whose father left for Alaska and decided not to return. Their mother is mired in grief and the three children, abandoned by the adults in their lives, find refuge in an old shed they make habitable. "So for a while the two sisters and the boy lay on the floor under the blankets, reading books in the dim candlelight, with the sun falling down outside in the alley, the three of them talking a little softly, drinking coffee from a thermos, and what was happening in the houses they’d come from, seemed, for that short time, of little importance." One of Haruf's particular gifts is in showing us people who give and take solace wherever it may be found.
An unfortunate disabled couple, parents of two young children, are trying to make their way in a world they cannot fathom. They are assisted by Rose Tyler, their caseworker, who is a friend of Maggie Jones. aggie, who drew Tom Guthrie out of his depression in Plainsong, is once again a catalyst for change when she introduces Rose to Raymond. There is no doubt more to come, as life in Holt, Colorado, continues to evolve and Kent Haruf keeps us informed. --Valerie RyanAbout the Author:
Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His most recent novel, Plainsong, won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado.
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Book Description Knopf, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Beautifully crafted and moving . . . Holt, Colorado [is] a town as fully realized and richly imagined as Faulkner's Jefferson, Mississippi." --Bill Marvel, Dallas Morning News "[Eventide] possesses the haunting appeal of music, the folksy rhythms of an American ballad and the lovely, measured grace of an old hymn . . . Mr. Haruf's understated prose, combined with his emotional wisdom and his easy affection for his characters turns [the novel's] events into affecting drama. In mapping the postage-stamp-size world of Holt, he has limned the loneliness of the people there and their resilience and capacity for hope."--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times "There's a decency that shines in the very accuracy with which [Haruf] describes the ordinary. Scene after scene, from cattle auction to back-booth seduction . . . flows by us as clear as spring water, proof that truth, like virtue, has its own reward."--Michael Harris, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Eventide is admirably austere: Haruf handles even potentially explosive scenes with delicacy." --Margaret Quamme, Columbus Dispatch "[Haruf] makes average people in fictional Holt, Colo., interesting, much like legendary Texas writer Horton Foote, [and] finds beauty and sadness in everyday life." --Kathy Harris, Fort Worth Star-Telegram "Eventide is a lovely novel, all the more for its uncomprimising realism, its eschewing of the magical pallative of happy endings, its recognition that decency carries its own unique rewards."--Joan Mellen, Baltimore Sun "Highly charged and compassionate . . . Every action in Holt casts a long shadow, and the gist of Haruf's story is what happens when those shadows touch . . . Haruf's writing draws power from his sense of characterits limitations and its possibilitiesand how it propels action."New Yorker "A kind book in a cruel world.[with] honest impulses, real people and the occasional workings of grace."--Christopher Tilghman, Washington Post "Haruf is a master of evocative description, [and his] lyrical style, which has been compared to that of Hemingway and Chekhov . . . quickly infects the reader with its own peculiar rhythms, to the point at which putting down the book and returning to real-world conversation is jarring. Most important, there is Haruf's spirit, which suggests that people unrelated by blood can and must form families, that a simple act of goodwill can occur even when it seems impossible."--Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Haruf's prose style emerges from behind [his] cast with a sober, homespun beauty . . . With Eventide, [he] has made them a permanent addition to the literary map of this country."--John Freeman, Milwaukee Journal-Star "Haruf's storytelling at its best."--Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly "Eventide is a spare, delicate and beautiful book [that is] set in a world where an 11-year-old boy and an old bachelor rancher can both experience the wonder of a first kiss . . . Haruf has created another poignant meditation on the true meaning of family."--April Henry, Oregonian "[Eventide] is a clear distillation of the writer's craft, a book that grabs you by the heart on the first page, refusing to release its grasp until the last . . . Just as day moves from late afternoon into night, Haruf's characters move inevitably toward, and through, personal challenge, [and] it is through these lives, both distinct and entwined, that Haruf quietly explores all that makes us human."--Robin Vidimos, Denver Post "Haruf has once again demonstrated that he can push a tale. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0375411585
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