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.
“[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
“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 character—its limitations and its possibilities—and 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
“[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 featuring our Western landscape beyond romanticized cowboy myth into distilled reality.” —Jenny Shank, Rocky Mountain News
“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?” —Ron Charles, Christian Science Monitor
“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.” —Kathryn Eastburn, Colorado Springs Independent
“Melancholy truths set to gorgeous melody . . . Haruf sings the second verse of his moving hymn to life on America’s great plains.” —Kirkus, starred review
WINNER - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
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.