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Eventide : a novel by Kent Haruf

Eventide : a novel (edition 2004)

by Kent Haruf (Author)

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Title:Eventide : a novel
Authors:Kent Haruf (Author)
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.
Collections:Your library

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Eventide by Kent Haruf

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    Marvel and a Wonder by Joe Meno (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: Same kind of unconventional-now-conventional family story, each told in their own beautiful ways.

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Earlier this year I read Kent Haruf's novel, Plainsong, about the people living in and near the small town of Holt, Colorado. This novel continues that story. Some of the characters from the previous novel are joined by others to form another heart-warming story about life in this small western town.

Two characters in particular, the McPheron brothers, are at the center of the story. In the previous novel they had befriended a young unmarried woman and her child who needed a home. As the story continues she is starting college and the brothers are once again alone with themselves. While they try to learn to live without Victoria their saga contains heartbreak and, for one of them, a chance to connect with a woman late, but not too late in a life that had come near to a new depth of loneliness. There is a young boy stoically caring for his grandfather while another couple try,but do not succeed to protect their children from a violent relative. The story with its many small town characters is not only about loneliness and distress, but also about people helping each other. There are moments when danger and evil touches some lives but it is depicted in a way that seems a natural part of the human condition.

Haruf writes about people who share a stoic vision of life--and of the community and landscape that brings them together. Through his spare prose on every page these lives emerge with a beauty and endurance that is impressive. The title of the novel is from a familiar church hymn; one that I remember singing in my youth. The short chapters might be compared to the stanzas of a hymn as the story unfolds with a a sort of musical rhythm. Ultimately, Eventide is a story of the abandonment, grief, and sorrow that bind these people together. It is also a story of the kindness, hope, and dignity that redeem their lives. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 29, 2016 |
4 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Review: Eventide by Kent Haruf.

This is a wonderful heartwarming and impressive novel. Well creative, fully developed characters with a lot of detailed and amazing setting in Holt, Colorado to give the reader the full effect of Kent Haruf’s writing style. He starts his story off with characters from his novel, “Plainsong” which is another great book but not really a sequel to this one. This novel continues with the loving McPheron brothers and the once young pregnant girl that the brothers took in, Victoria and her now young toddler. However, Haruf creates a bunch of new characters to take the story to another level. He also combined death, illness, injury, abandonment, abuse, and the random bleakness of fate to an emotional crisis that the character’s and reader’s had to find strength to overcome.

Eventide is a story about several dysfunctional families in a small town facing unrelenting hard times and coping with the situations that face them in everyday life. For some of these people their challenged just to make the right possible decisions and struggling to keep their heads above water. Within this small town there are many good and kind people but sometimes there is always one who takes advantage of the kindness and only causes pain and suffering, and Hoyt Raines is one of those people….I thought Raymond and Herold were the character’s who made this story so complete but yet heartbreaks happen to good people too. As Raymond McPheron said, “These acts of fate and disaster are things you don’t get over”, and “everything in this world gets weaned eventually”.

There is one family, Luther and Betty and their two young children who live in a trailer home, very needy in many ways, who has a social worker who assist them with their budgeting, providing food stamps, to parenting classes, anger management, and lessons in hygiene and cleaning their home. Another example is, DJ Kephart, a small eleven year old boy whose responsibilities are unjust for his age. He is without parents, living with his elderly grandfather, who is often bed-ridden. DJ does all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and on the day of his grandfather’s check cashing day at the small town tavern, he waits at the bar doing his homework while his grandfather chats and has a few drinks and then DJ makes sure the elderly man gets home safely. DJ does have two neighboring friends but further into the story he is alone once again. Then there is Dena and Emma Wells, whose father is in Alaska with a mother who drinks and shows no affection towards the girls. DJ and the girls manage to make a home away from home in an abandon old shed into a playhouse and assume an adult atmosphere of their own. Within just these three scenario’s emotions tug at the readers heart strings.

There is plenty of action, emotion and more characters to meet throughout the novel to keep you reading and you shouldn’t pass on this one…Every scene of tenderness and love is associated against scenes of cruelty and inhumanity….just day to day survival is the real theme to Eventide.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
I didn't like this one quite as well as "Plainsong" but my actual rating would fall closer to 3.5 stars. I was delighted to be back with the McPheron brothers and the people of Holt County. They are all so real. Haruf writes in a way that is both simple and beautiful. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
I didn't like this one quite as well as "Plainsong" but my actual rating would fall closer to 3.5 stars. I was delighted to be back with the McPheron brothers and the people of Holt County. They are all so real. Haruf writes in a way that is both simple and beautiful. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
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Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. - Henry R. Lyte
For Cathy and in memory of my nephew Mark Kelley Haruf
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They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375725768, Paperback)

Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong, one of the most beloved novels in recent years, has wisely continued the franchise in Eventide, another foray into the prairie town of Holt, Colorado. We meet some of the same people--the McPheron brothers, Tom Guthrie and Maggie Jones, Victoria and her daughter Katie, and are introduced to new ones. Once again, the quirky bachelors Harold and Raymond McPheron, short on conversation and long on heart, form the sweet center of the book. The constants here are the brothers, the landscape--by turns hostile, demanding and renewing--and a few of the locals, whom we meet in varying degrees of their travails and redemption.

Victoria, the young pregnant woman the brothers took in in Plainsong, has gone off to college at Fort Collins, leaving the brothers standing at the kitchen counter, "drinking coffee and talking about how Victoria Roubideaux was doing a hundred and twenty-five miles away from home ... while they themselves were living as usual in the country in Holt County ... with so much less to account for now that she was gone, and a wind rising up and starting to whine outside the house." Much as Seinfeld was called the TV show about nothing, Haruf's books are so low-key and straightforward that a careless reader might miss the fact that they are about everything that life has to offer: love, sorrow, malice, understanding, and the connections that make and keep us human, to name a few.

DJ is an 11-year-old living alone with his grandfather, when he befriends two young girls whose father left for Alaska and decided not to return. Their mother is mired in grief and the three children, abandoned by the adults in their lives, find refuge in an old shed they make habitable. "So for a while the two sisters and the boy lay on the floor under the blankets, reading books in the dim candlelight, with the sun falling down outside in the alley, the three of them talking a little softly, drinking coffee from a thermos, and what was happening in the houses they’d come from, seemed, for that short time, of little importance." One of Haruf's particular gifts is in showing us people who give and take solace wherever it may be found.

An unfortunate disabled couple, parents of two young children, are trying to make their way in a world they cannot fathom. They are assisted by Rose Tyler, their caseworker, who is a friend of Maggie Jones. aggie, who drew Tom Guthrie out of his depression in Plainsong, is once again a catalyst for change when she introduces Rose to Raymond. There is no doubt more to come, as life in Holt, Colorado, continues to evolve and Kent Haruf keeps us informed. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

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A novel of small-town life in the high plains region around Holt, Colorado, follows the challenges, emotional upheaval, tragedies, and intertwined destinies of the local inhabitants as they cope with the changes they encounter.

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