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Desert Kings (Deathlands, eM forever And then the little girl and her arrival had changed matters once again So they had grown used to the presence of these new people in their lives They had become accustomed to the way things had changed and they had got so they liked these new changes and got so they wanted them to continue day after day in the same way Lost in the FamiliarIn the dirt as in snow tracks and footprints can disappear The now familiar tropes of pairs sleep red and the slanted light of the dusty plains are regularly and softly used here yet I was adrift in a town I thought I knew In Plainsong the focus ofach chapter is clear because character names are used as chapter titles Eventide is the opposite chapters are numbered but significantly they invariably start with a scattering of pronouns so I had no initial idea who was being referred to An Officer and a Spy especially inarly chapters with the possibility of characters I d not Exposed (Annika Bengtzon, encountered before When characters speak they re as plainspoken here as in Plainsong but they re not always as honest Notveryone is uite what they seem I want to see the best in people Ooko even fictional people but I anticipated the pain and tragedies to come and sometimes they didThus Haruf conjures a complex and disorienting response with deceptively simple languagePairsBoth books are built on the similarities and contrasts of pairs doubles and opposites of characters and situations and the fact the books themselves are a pair This could be unsubtle disorienting and annoying but instead it lends uncertainty within the comfort of a familiar framework Forxample the variable amount of clutter in the McPheron kitchen continues to reflect the fluctuating moods of lifeIn contrast with Naked everyone in Plainsong and many in Eventide little Katie is a chatterbox She went on without stopping talking about whatever came into her mind with no need for Raymond to remark on any of it at all though he paid heed There are two obvious contrasts that barely feature inither book religious versus not and rich versus poor an observation not a criticismIn Plainsong I was surprised how little God or the church featured in the lives of Holt s residents Shadow Scale (Seraphina, especially thelderly god like figures of Harold and Raymond McPheron that may be a fault of my stereotypes of the US in general and small towns 30 years ago in particular In Eventide most of the few occasions church or prayers are mentioned merely demonstrate people s unfamiliarity with Claim The Crown either Go ahead andat unless somebody wants to pray No one did Eventide has a family on welfare see below and that made me realise the almost total absence of anyone wealthy Nerds except perha It s taken me a while to get here but I ve spent the last two weeks in Kent Haruf s world reading Plainsong and then Eventide It s been like a religiousxperience His pages are a humble wooden pew in a country chapel his words are the blessings from the gentlest sermonSo gentle this sermon Nothing is pressed verything is as it is There are bad people and children suffer But then there are the good I used to say that Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables was the very best as in most kind most lovable character in all of literature But I hadn t read Haruf s works and didn t know about the McPheron brothers They are added to the list right up there with Matthew I think if they had met they would have been friends tipping their hats and discussing the price of cattle in the general store What is it with these older farming bachelors that makes my heart meltIt could be their dignity their motherless ness their innate goodness All I know is during a pivotal scene with Harold and Raymond McPheron I looked up from *the page and saw that tears had pooled in the hollow of my *page and saw that tears had pooled in the hollow of my The writing is very direct very clear saying just what needs to be said A clean arrow right to the heart The style may remind you of Cormac McCarthy to me it s like McCarthy had he found God and realised that the world wasn t so bad after all This book like in Plainsong follows the interconnected stories of several families in Holt Colorado I was invested in ach one Each broke my heart a little but Bark each built it up a little tooSo it s official I ve joined the club Me a gal who doesn t like joining anything who instinctively resists what is beloved by many You were all right I ve been won over I m besotted and I m grateful This is the follow up to Plainsong returning to the small town of Holt ColoradoA few characters make appearances again along with several new ones I was thrilled to be back with the McPheron brothersspecially They rate highly in my list of favorite ver characters This novel deals a lot with loss separation and loneliness of many people in the town but also shows the compassion of manyAs with Plainsong I just loved this Eventide continues Haruf s depiction of Holt Colorado begun in Plainsong of a small town with a wide range of humanity Like Plainsong Eventide is a beautiful work with moving characters captivating imagery and a clear view of *humanity at its core It made me cry both for struggles of its characters and the clarity of its writing Familiar *at its core It made me cry both for struggles of its characters and the clarity of its writing Familiar from Plainsong Tom Guthrie Maggie Jones Harold and Raymond McPheron and Victoria Robideaux are joined by a new roster of characters young and old good and bad A joy to read and an asy recommendation Other Kent Haruf books we have njoyed Our Souls at Night Benediction Plainsong Where I grew up there was an old bachelor who lived about half a mile
Farther From Town Than We Did He from town than we did He in a tiny shack of a house and would often drop in to our place on the way to or from town I will call him Charlie although veryone always said his first and last names together like they were one He drove a buggy with a beautiful older white horse pulling it The buggy was black and had a cover mounted on risers to keep the sun and rain off The horse wore blinders maybe so it wouldn t be upset by passi. A couple Alongside these familiar faces and places however are new characters and their stories Betty and Luther who are struggling to keep their heads above water and their children Joy Rae and Richie out of care; leven year old DJ who has spent much of his supposedly carefree chi. .
There s an awful lot of loneliness in this world and meanness and cruelty and feelings of inadeuacy and various other things that make being human feel like running the gauntlet just trying to make it day to day So many things out of our control vents that can t be helped or made better but then again there are those people who try in their own small way to lend a hand or an Mastered (The Enforcers, ear or maybe just a look between two friends to light the darkness with little pinpoints of hopeThe reason Kent Haruf is such a beloved author is that he shows us that decency and kindness doxist In the guise of regular hard working characters who do their jobs and not only take care of their own but reach out when needed to others and sometimes realize that helping themselves is necessary when nothing Man, Son of Man else will do And he does it in such deceptively simple prose that we don tven see where he s taking us until we get there and that this is a beautiful world in spite of the bad things because the good things will always count for Two things from this incredible book 1 A uote They never do like it he said I can t imagine anything or anybody that would like it But Alter Ego every living thing in this world gets weanedventually 2 This novel contains the most romantic and tender love scene I have ver read So beautiful maybe ven slightly better than Plainsong Haruf writes from the heart and in doing so he touches ours He features good people and bad people but that s how life is Some of his characters make you want to reach out and give them a hug others you would like to be your best friends All of them are memorable and provide food for thought after the book has finishedThere are some really sad moments in Eventide I was mopping up tears over one momentous death And then there are the beautiful moments when people reach out to others and help them through life s tougher timesThis book is just plain beautiful and I am sad already because there is only one It was with some regret that I turned the last page of Eventide knowing there were no volumes left for me to read in the Plainsong trilogy The citizens of Holt with their daily struggles and the simplicity of their rural living have become a sort of cobbled family where I feel welcome and cozy and they have tugged at my heartstrings in ways I couldn t have anticipatedP I ve never lived in a small town nor ven visited a cattle ranch yet it feels like coming home to return once again to Holt Colorado and the folks who live thereThe old McPheron brothers are still working the cattle with the occasional snorty bull cows with sour dispositions and calves bawling for their mamas Harold and Raymond are men of few words As long as they have been living and working together not much needs to be said between them and their companionable silence is just as comfortable as an old shoe Like any other town people come and others leave It would be hard not to warm up to DJ the youngster who takes such good care of his grandpa A gandy dancer in his day the old man revels in telling his stories on Saturday nights at the local tavern A mentally challenged couple tries to do the best they can for their kids but keep coming up short These and other characters provide a richness to this small serving of life No mystery no serial killers nothing mystical going on here Just life Letting go image source Eventide is the brilliant and perfect follow up to Plainsong told in the same spare language and set a couple
Of Years Later You years later You read it as a standalone novel but *you d be missing than the half you have not read not so *d be missing than the half you have not read not so in terms of plot as uilibriumEven though a notable aspect of both books is the lack of backstory and there are major characters in this who left not so much as a dusty footprint on the pages of Plainsong while some of the unfinished tracks of Plainsong Unseen City eg the Beckmans vendetta against Tom Guthrie are untrodden here they are two halves of a whole I read Eventide immediately after finishing Plainsong and I am so glad I did I can only review this in relation to that and neither review stands on its own anotherxample of the pairs that are a defining feature of both Benediction is separate despite GR labelling it as 3 See my reviews Plainsong precursor to this 5 Benediction a separate story 5WeaningWhereas Plainsong is primarily about absence I felt a subtle shift here Eventide is about the process of separation and letting go whether voluntary or not the adaptation to and acceptance or not of the change that follows They never do like it I can t imagine anything or anybody that would like it But Art every living thing in this world gets weanedventually Although Eventide comes chronologically after Plainsong in this thematic respect it almost precedes it Perhaps we need to feel and acknowledge the pain of loss before we can truly comprehend the impact and how and why it happenedAt the moment of loss or separation we don t know the
outcome whether parent or child lover or friend we feel only whether parent or child lover or friend we feel only present agony Looking back we see that most thrive but some falter a few of them critically We apply perspective and context to our loss Does that mitigate the hurt For the majority it probably does but I doubt it offers solace to those who could not successfully transition to independence Does it make it God Is in the Crowd easier to leave or let go in future I don t knowHopeWhere is the hope that makes this book not just bearable but wonderful As with Plainsong it s from simple unconditional love and acceptance sometimes from the least likely sources but here there is again anmphasis on process the slow flowering of once tentative and maybe improbable relationships into something strong and sweet There are brand new relationships good and bad but those between Victoria her young daughter Katie and the McPherons are most touching of all They all continue to change and be changed because of ach other Her coming had changed matters for the. With Victoria Roubideaux now at college the McPheron brothers are alone on their farm once again yet struggling to settle back into old ways and routines; Tom Guthrie and Maggie Jones meanwhile are finding their future together assured ven while they're still finding their feet as. Ng cars and trucks and its harness was black with shiny silver decorationsOn his way into town Charlie would drop off a bag of crab apples or sometimes a bag of rhubarb and usually a couple of clean plastic containers Those containers were Mom s because Charlie never left The Matriarchs (The Family empty handedither he would take home with him another couple of tubs one with a stew or a casserole and one with maybe a rhubarb crunch dessert or Mom would give him a uart of her canned crab apple fruit or a jar of crab apple jelly Charlie Notes for the Everlost even drove to church in his horse and buggy and the horse always stood patiently outside waiting for church to be over and Charlie would ride the buggy homeEventide The name of this book alonevokes memories of the senses and of the spirit of country living Just as in Mr Haruf s book our little community had many difficulties some poverty babies showing up from out of nowhere bad accidents in both vehicles and with farm machinery or hazards mourning times and When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) even a couple who never spoke toach other from about their 15 or 20 year Anniversary No Biggy! except through one of their many children Still I don t think it s a faulty memory but a truth the people where I grew up weressentially good and kind hearted They helped their neighbours through difficult times and oh the celebrations Sports days fair days dances musical and variety concerts picnics there was always room in busy lives to set down the work for a few hours and have funIn this novel there are a number of problems and griefs for the residents of Holt and its surrounding areas too Yet they also took time out to socialize to help ach other in any way they could and to try and resolve difficulties if they could Kent Haruf has painted a broad landscape of characters in this novel which sets the tone of a small town atmosphere where many people live on farms and ranches outside of the town We are not invited into this setting it is set out for us like a beautifully appointed dinner table and we are magnetized to it with souls starved for its sustenanceThrough Kent Haruf s magnificently simple prose and plain yet powerful dialogue we fall into the story he offers into the lives and concerns of the citizens of Holt and we don t want to leave This book calls to an inner need to belong to be part of someplace and to do our part Our hearts can t help but to respond with a yes It was still hot outside though the sun had begun to lean to the west and the first intimations of fall were in the air that smell of dust and dry leaves that annual lonesomeness that comes of summer closing down Sixteen years ago when Eventide was first published if you had walked up to me with this book in your hand and said Here Read this It s a great book I would have said What and who is it about Where does it take place You likely would have stated Well it s about ordinary people and I can t really pinpoint an actual plot I mean things happen good and bad but well you know The setting is Holt Colorado a dusty plains kind of town You know partly on a cattle ranch and partly in a small sort of simple village suare I would have politely smiled and told you that I don t have much time to read these days as I have two small children at home Then I would have proceeded to grab a thriller or mystery novel instead
i missed out meeting one of the most missed out meeting one of the most savants of the human heart Four years ago I smartened up and set things right by reading Kent Haruf s Plainsong and fell instantly in love It took a pandemic to give me the next swift kick to finally read the second book in the trilogy They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of arly morning The McPheron brothers Harold and Raymond Old men approaching an old house at the Attracting Birds to Your Backyard end of summer From page one I was delighted to find myself once again in the company of the McPheron brothers If you haven t met this unassuming and lovable pair yet you should grab Plainsong right away and get started before picking up this one You ll see some other familiar faces from that book here as well and meet a few What I ve learned from Kent Haruf is that heroes don t really come in capes or white collars they don t carry magic wands shapeshift or stand up on pulpits They do however look like your average human being and yet save lives and defeat villains No They re not preachers But they did save me I don t know what I would ve done without them It s obvious to me that Haruf valued both the aged as well as the younger members of our society I don t know his personal family story but I would guess that he wasither a grandfather himself or viewed the loving relationship of a grandparent and grandchild secondhand with wonder and gratitude He understood the impact the Deep Listening elderly and children can have on one another and that the value of that tie works in both directions He also knew that families are not always constructed by biological links They can come in many shapes and sizes and what holds them together is not necessarily DNA but love support companionship honesty and understanding What a wise andnlightened soul Haruf must have breathed some of his own Bird-by-Bird Gardening essence into the creation of the McPheron brothers But these venerable men aren t the only superheroes of this story Children too are guardian angels in disguise as poor beaten down and hurting little souls both to one another as well as to theirlders And yes women can throw out life preservers as well Please please let me meet Rose Tyler one timeI can t recommend this series highly The Works of Saint Augustine enough The prose is unadorned but luminous andxtremely affecting The one timeI can t recommend this series highly Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone enough The prose is unadorned but luminous andxtremely affecting The so tangible you might find yourself looking for them as you go about your day Perhaps you ll see one of them at the supermarket Maybe another will pop up at your local tavern If you re fortunate maybe one will throw you a life raft too Or perhaps you can offer your own to one of them This can be a hard place to be alone in Well I suppose any place Ldhood caring for his cantankerous grandfather Walter; DJ's friend Dena her mother and sister all of whom are trying to adjust to life and a home without the girls' fatherElouent and vocative Eventide paints a convincing compelling picture of small town life in Holt County Colorado.