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The Resource Our souls at night, Kent Haruf

Our souls at night, Kent Haruf

Label
Our souls at night
Title
Our souls at night
Statement of responsibility
Kent Haruf
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness. "No, not sex," she clarifies. "I'm talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably." Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2015
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ The latest novel by the highly regarded author of Plainsong (1999), Eventide (2004), and Benediction (2013) is also, sadly, his last novel; Haruf died in November 2014. It will occur to readers that even one more word added to this short and spare narrative would break Haruf’s perfect harmony of place (a small town on the relatively empty Colorado plains), population (no-frills people just trying to maintain a decent existence), and plot (centering on two senior citizens seeking companionship). Addie Moore has lost her husband, and one day she boldly invites a neighbor, widower Louis, whom she does not know well, to come spend the night sleeping with her (chastely, just so that she may have someone to talk to and confide in during those particularly lonely early-morning hours). Meanwhile, Addie’s grown son is in a troubled marriage, and because of that, he dumps his son on her. Her grandson’s boyish energy attracts Louis even more than it does Addie, and once Louis gets the boy a dog, the three—no, the four, including the delightfully affectionate new pooch—form a new family unit from the spare parts surrounding them. The joy of love and togetherness drove Haruf to write his beautiful fiction in this novel as in previous ones, and his especially tender voice got his point across in quiet, intimate tones. High-Demand Backstory: The high critical and popular regard in which Haruf was held will guarantee library interest in his last novel. -- Hooper, Brad (Reviewed 04-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 16, p28)
  • Beautiful, elegant and poignant, this novel is a distilled experience of Haruf's writing. The story of how two elders attempt to poke at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds them will stick with me for a long time to come. I'm amazed at how Haruf says so much with such spare prose. He will be missed. -- Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR. (LibraryReads, May 2015)
  • /* Starred Review */ Within the first three pages of this gripping and tender novel, Addie Moore, a 70-year-old widow, invites her neighbor, Louis Waters, to sleep over. “No, not sex,” she clarifies. “I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably.” Although Louis is taken off guard, the urgency of Addie’s loneliness does not come across as desperate, and her logic will soon persuade him. She reasons that they’re both alone (Louis’s wife has also been dead for a number of years) and that, simply, “nights are the worst.” What follows is a sweet love story, a deep friendship, and a delightful revival of a life neither of them was expecting, all against the backdrop of a gossiping (and at times disapproving) small town. When Addie’s six-year-old grandson arrives for the summer, Addie and Louis’s relationship is tested but ultimately strengthened. Addie’s adult son’s judgment, however, is not so easily overcome. In this book, Haruf, who died in 2014, returns to the landscape and daily life of Holt County, Colo., where his previous novels (Plainsong , Eventide , The Tie That Binds ) have also been set, this time with a stunning sense of all that’s passed and the precious importance of the days that remain. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 2, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 09, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In this last novel written before his death in November 2014, acclaimed novelist Haruf (Benediction ) captures small-town life to perfection in his signature spare style. Addie Moore and Louis Waters have been neighbors in the eastern Colorado farming town of Holt for over 40 years. Now, alone except for visits from their grown children, Addie has asked Louis to come over every evening and to stay with her in bed, just to get through the lonely nights. Louis is not a risk taker, but he's lonely, too, and so begins their companionable routine, as they talk not only about trivial matters but also about important things in the past: his affair with a local teacher, her daughter's death at age 11. Unfortunately, Addie's bullying son Gene interferes. After leaving his son Jamie with Addie for the summer, during which time the troubled boy's behavior improves markedly, Gene sees what is going on and issues an ultimatum that forces Addie to make a difficult choice. VERDICT Haruf gives a delicate touch to Addie and Louis, their enjoyment of simple pleasures, their disappointments and compromises. Poignant and eloquent, this novel resonates beyond the pages. Don't miss this exceptional work from a literary voice now stilled. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/14.].— Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Palisade, CO --Donna Bettencourt (Reviewed April 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 6, p79)
  • A sweet love story about the twilight years. If Haruf (who died in November at age 71) hadn't titled his previous book Benediction (2013), that might have been perfect for this one. It's a slim novel of short chapters, and it would seem to bring the cycle of books about small-town Holt, Colorado, to a close. This isn't a dark night of the soul but one filled with hope and with second chances. Here's how it opens: "And then there was the day when Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters." Addie is 70, a widow, and she was close with Louis' late wife. She and Louis don't really know each other that well, other than as nodding acquaintances, but she has a novel proposition: she wants him to sleep with her. Not to have sexual relations, but just to have someone with whom she can talk and share and make it through the night. He appreciates the risk she's taken in making the request, and he agrees, though on their first night he's filled with thoughts of "How strange this is. How new it is to be here. How uncertain I feel, and sort of nervous." Word gets out, and those who will gossip do, assuming the salacious details. Addie and Louis both have adult children who aren't enthusiastic about the arrangement. And they each have a back story about the sorts of disappointments and perseverance that mark any longstanding marriage. Through Addie's initiative, she and Louis find an emotional intimacy beyond anything either has previously known, and both come to recognize that they "deserve to be happy," no matter what friends and family think. The author even has a little metafictional fun with his premise, as the characters comment on those "made up" books about the (fictional) Holt and how they'd hate to be in one of them. Those who have been immersed in Holt since Plainsong(1999) will appreciate one last visit.(Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10401385
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Haruf, Kent
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3558.A716
LC item number
O95 2015
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Older people
  • Grandparent and child
  • Widowers
  • Loneliness
  • Memory
  • Colorado
Target audience
adult
Label
Our souls at night, Kent Haruf
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
179 pages
Isbn
9781101875896
Lccn
2014045500
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 898273147
  • (OCoLC)898273147
Label
Our souls at night, Kent Haruf
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
20 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
179 pages
Isbn
9781101875896
Lccn
2014045500
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 898273147
  • (OCoLC)898273147

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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