One of the most beloved novels in recent years, Plainsong was a best-seller from coast to coastand 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 theyd taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before themand 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 isnt 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 entwinedfor good and for illas 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.
They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early morning. The McPheron brothers, Harold and Raymond. Old men approaching an old house at the end of summer. They came on across the gravel drive past the pickup and the car parked at the hogwire fencing and came one after the other through the wire gate. At the porch they scraped their boots on the saw blade sunken in the dirt, the ground packed and shiny around it from long use and mixed with barnlot manure, and walked up the plank steps onto the screened porch and entered the kitchen where the nineteen-year-old girl Victoria Roubideaux sat at the pinewood table feeding oatmeal to her little daughter.
In the kitchen they removed their hats and hung them on pegs set into a board next to the door and began at once to wash up at the sink. Their faces were red and weather-blasted below their white foreheads, the coarse hair on their round heads grown iron-gray and as stiff as the roached mane of a horse. When they finished ...
Haruf returns to the small town of Holt, Colorado to continue the story he started in Plainsong (1999). However, you don't have to have read Plainsong to enjoy this tale This tale could so easily have turned to slush in less skilled hands, but as one reviewer puts it Haruf is 'a master of restraint and a writer of remarkable tenderness and dignity [who] tells his characters' tough stories without omniscient commentary, trusting in the power of straight-ahead prose and realistic predicaments. Highly recommended.
If you liked Eventide, try these:
Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student in a small mill town, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality.
With all the vision, grace and humanity of truly epic storytelling Russo extends even further his claims on the small-town, blue-collar heart of the country.
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