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.
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.
Michiko Kakutani - The New York Times
… if a sense of déjà vu dogs the reader of this book, the novel also showcases the qualities that made Plainsong such a seductive performance. It's not just that readers of Plainsong will want to find out what has happened to Raymond and Harold McPheron and their neighbors. It's that Mr. Haruf makes us care about these plain-spoken, small town folks without ever resorting to sentimentality or clichés. Instead, he uses their own language — simple, laconic and uninflected with irony or contemporary slang — to capture the mood and mores of the town.
Chicago Sun-Times - Mark Athitakis
In creating a place whose people are tethered to each other by history and emotion as much as place, Haruf's work is now competing with Faulkner's Mississippi, Sherwood Anderon's Midwest, and Wallace Stegner's northern California.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune - Mickey Pearlman
Like the lives he chronicles, Haruf's prose moves relentlessly forward, catching in his images the fierceness and sweetness of experience.
Newsday - Dan Cryer
This novelist writes with such unabashed wonder before life's mysteries, such compassion for frail humanity that he seems to have issued from another time, a better place.
Colorado Springs Independent - Kathryn Eastburn
Luminous . . . Haruf's uncanny ability to stay out of his characters' way is evident again in Eventide. What comes out of their mouths, whether it is kind, mean, ignorant, confused, intelligent or clouded by loneliness, is true and hard, spare as life on the plains . . . Eventide depicts a time, a place and its people so sincerely and so compellingly, with moments of such rare beauty, that the reader cannot walk away.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Karen Sandstrom
Masterful... A full and satisfying novel complete unto itself [that] might be even more emotionally powerful than its predecessor.
Christian Science Monitor - Ron Charles
This hardscrabble story kicks up a dust cloud of melancholy that will sting even the most hardened readers' eyes. At the end of some chapters I was left wondering, Who in America can still write like this? Who else has such confidence and such humility?
O Magazine - Mark Doty
A stunning novel of brothers, land, grief, and redemption...The dry, cold air of Colorado's high plains seems to intensify the light Kent Haruf shines on every character in his masterful novel Eventide. He brings such grace and care to his examination of the ways we fail and, sometimes, help one another, that the end result is a book of hope, hope as plain and hard-won as Haruf's keenly styled prose.
Haruf's follow-up to the critically acclaimed and bestselling Plainsong is as lovely and accomplished as its predecessor.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Readers, grateful for a return visit to archetypal Holt and entranced by the bracing clarity of the wind-chilled open range and the solace of coffee-warm kitchens, will share Haruf's respect for life's mysteries and his faith in goodness.
Library Journal - Robin Nesbitt
Through Haruf's crisp, clean prose, we feel the pain of Holt's citizens as they struggle to survive life with hope and dignity. No easy answers here, just honest storytelling that is compelling and rings true. Highly recommended.
Haruf sings the second verse of his moving hymn to life on America's great plains..... Melancholy truths set to gorgeous melody.
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