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The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf

The Tie That Binds (original 1984; edition 2000)

by Kent Haruf

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5251319,248 (4.02)37
Title:The Tie That Binds
Authors:Kent Haruf
Info:Vintage (2000), Edition: Vintage Contemporaries ed, Paperback, 246 pages
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The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf (1984)


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Excellent writing. The first I have read of his. I will be reading the others. ( )
  Corwin2634 | Apr 2, 2015 |
This is Haruf's first novel and I was moved to read it because I was much attracted by his Plainsong which i read 23 Apr 2000. This is a brutal novel of farm life in notheastern Colorado, depicting a tyrant father utterly dominating his son and daughter. The son escapes, but the daughter is held by the paternal tie.. The narrator is the son of the man who loves the daughter but is despised by the father. Long after the father dies the son returns, setting up a new scenario for drama. I found the first part of the novel totally absorbing, and the ending suitably gripping though some of the account after the son's return and before the dramatic close did pall a bit. But it is a superior fictional drama which is poignant and at times heart-stopping. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Jul 22, 2014 |
I always love it when I find a new author. Haruf is a Colorado resident and writes about a small town named Holt. This story starts with an 80 year old woman in the hospital and about to be charged with murder. What comes is the tale of how she got to this place. The characters are interesting and watching their lives unfold is very engaging. I've since read another of his (Where You Once Belonged)and it was equally involving but considerably darker in tone. ( )
  Jane1551 | May 15, 2014 |
Definitely not in the same class as his later books, but equally definitely of a quality superior to most of what I read. There's great setting a mood right from the outset and giving the reader a real feeling that they know the place and people that he's describing. Then on top of that there's the story which makes us think hard about what our roles should be in the world. There's none of the over-romanticizing (or demonizing) either that you often find in the works of authors who focus a lot on one particular place. ( )
  oldblack | May 7, 2014 |
I think this is quite possibly Kent Haruf's best book, which is a surprise because the books that followed it were all fantastic, but for a writers first book to be this good, does not happen often.
The story is about Edith Goodnough a woman living on the plains of Colorado and what she has had to endure in her 80 years living there. It is told by her neighbor Sanders Roscoe. That's it, that is all the book is about. The writing- the story telling skills- of this author are extremely rare, you have a good idea what is going to happen around each turn in the story, but as the reader you don't care, because the writing is that good. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 31, 2014 |
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Edith Goodnough isn't in the country anymore.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375724389, Paperback)

Colorado, January 1977. Eighty-year-old Edith Goodnough lies in a hospital bed, IV taped to the back of her hand, police officer at her door. She is charged with murder. The clues: a sack of chicken feed slit with a knife, a milky-eyed dog tied outdoors one cold afternoon. The motives: the brutal business of farming and a family code of ethics as unforgiving as the winter prairie itself.

In his critically acclaimed first novel, Kent Haruf delivers the sweeping tale of a woman of the American High Plains, as told by her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe. As Roscoe shares what he knows, Edith's tragedies unfold: a childhood of pre-dawn chores, a mother's death, a violence that leaves a father dependent on his children, forever enraged. Here is the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness in the name of family--and then, in one gesture, reclaims her freedom. Breathtaking, determinedly truthful, The Tie That Binds is a powerfully eloquent tribute to the arduous demands of rural America, and of the tenacity of the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As elderly Edith Goudnough lies in a hospital bed, accused of murder, her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe, tells what he knows of her life: "a childhood of pre-dawn chores, a mother's death, a violence that leaves a father dependent on his children, forever enraged."--Cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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