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Eventide [Kindle Edition]

Kent Haruf
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

Narrator Hearn, who won a Tony award for his performance in the Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard, proves to be a perfect complement to Haruf's earthy, austerely elegant prose in this atmospheric sequel to Hearn's novel Plainsong (1999). Many of the characters from that book return, with the brothers Harold and Raymond MacPheron once again serving as the focal point. Haruf concentrates on the complexities of what seems to be a simple Colorado community. New characters include a mentally challenged couple struggling to raise their two children, and an 11-year-old orphan boy charged with caring for his aging grandfather. The text is restrained, as is Hearn's performance. His relaxed, throaty voice and even pace fit comfortably with a book that boasts its fair share of sayings like, "Yes, ma'am," and in which a present participle ending in "g" is rarer than a discouraging word. He makes only the slightest alterations for different characters, yet they all ring true. Whether describing the events of a tragic death or a couple's thorough contemplation of the likelihood that pouring raisins on plain cereal would be the same thing as Raisin Bran itself, Hearn's voice possesses an ease and casual quaintness to rival Garrison Keillor, and it precisely conveys this book's enchanting spell.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 338 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375725768
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 4, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1MDC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,921 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I know these people! May 23, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In Sara Nelson's book SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME, the author tells us she could not relate to PLAINSONG, that she put the book aside in favor of other books she'd rather read. How could it be, I wondered, that this national reviewer could scorn one of the best novels I've read in the last ten years?

I would assume that once again Nelson will be less than enthusiastic about the sequel. EVENTIDE is one slow-moving story. Haruf fashions scenes where a welfare couple shops for TV dinners at a supermarket. In another, a boy and girl clean out an old garden shed and play Monopoly. In yet another, the McPheron brothers sell their steers at an auction. I don't know how he does it, but Haruf makes these seemingly mundane scenes work. I guess it's because of the heart-tugging humanity they express. We know these people; we see ourselves in them.

I will admit it took me a while to warm to this book. Tom Guthrie and his boys are minor characters for one thing, and as a former teacher, I could relate to him. Right around page ninety or so, this becomes Raymond McPheron's book and you have to be a heartless jerk not to want to hang around with such a mensch. Raymond and Harold are having a hard time dealing with the loss of Victoria and her daughter Katie, who've gone off to college.

Haruf's style is quite spare, but there are hints of Faulkner and Hemingway. Haruf does for Holt, Colorado, what Faulkner did for Yoknapatawpha County. As in the Faulkner novels, the characters are a motley crew. There's a clueless welfare couple who can't seem to do anything right. DJ Kephart, a pre-teen version of Raymond, shepherds his grandfather through pneumonia and stands up for a woman in distress. The welfare couple's uncle is a veritable Simon Legree.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Three years after the author's previous novel, Plainsong, concluded, the author returns to Holt, Colorado, continuing the story of Raymond and Harold McPheron, elderly ranchers who lived in almost complete isolation until they agreed to provide a safe haven for a scared and pregnant teenager, three years ago. With other familiar characters from Plainsong also returning in minor roles, the novel then broadens to focus on three additional families, whose new stories the author deftly juggles and interweaves. Somewhat more thoughtful and complex than Plainsong, Eventide quickly engages the reader with its unpretentious style, revealing dialogue, and often heart-tugging scenes of difficult lives.
Luther and Betty June Wallace are some of Haruf's most beautifully drawn characters. Extremely limited in their understanding, they receive professional assistance in everything from budgeting to parenting classes, anger management, and lessons in cleanliness. DJ Kephart, a small eleven-year-old whose responsibilities make him seem much older, is an orphan, now living with his elderly, often bed-ridden, grandfather, for whom he does all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. He and his neighborhood friends, Dena and Emma Wells, whose father is in Alaska, spend their free time turning an abandoned shed into a playhouse, a peaceful, make-believe home where adults do not intrude. Suddenly, separate acts of fate, involving the McPheron brothers and each of these three families, upend all their lives and set in motion a series of events which will change them forever.
Death, illness, injury, abandonment, abuse, and the arbitrary harshness of fate all contribute to emotional crises the characters must find the strength to overcome.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Yardlights Shining from the Tall Poles September 26, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Kent Haruf's novels contain large lessons. His first novel, The Tie That Binds, was about duty and its costs, and his best known novel, Plainsong, was about transcending loneliness. Eventide is about courage and its sniveling evil twin, cowardice.

Haruf takes us back to the small town of Holt, Colorado -- a complicated but true place where kindness and cruelty exist side by side in the same proportions (or should I say disproportions) as the rest of the outside world. Here we find familiar characters from Plainsong, most notably the kind Maggie Jones, the ever capable Tom Guthrie, the stoic and funny McPheron brothers, and their triumphant ward, Victoria Roubidoux. And while they provide the comfortable base on which this new story is built, they are joined in Eventide by equally intriguing characters, such as Mary Wells, an abandoned mother, Rose Tyler, a dedicated social worker, and especially the courageous DJ Kephart, an 11-year old boy who has never gotten a break in his brief life but who transcends all with character and a moral strength that comes from some unknown place.

Courage is found throughout Holt. Raymond McPheron's quiet courage overcomes the loss of "his dead brother, gone on ahead". Mary Wells abandons self-pity to forge a new life and DJ forges ahead and literally strikes out at the evil he sees around him. Rose Tyler carries her burdens with resolve and strength and her wards, Joy Rae and Richie Wallace, the neglected children of pathetic losers, simply survive.

Unfortunately, where courage resides, cowardice lurks. Haruf's characterizations of Luther and Betty Wallace, the slothful welfare couple, and their vile relative, Hoyt Raines, are brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Town, Great Characters
I am so glad Haruf wrote a sequel to Plainsong, so we could follow the lives of those in the first book. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Jean Rodenbough
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as Plainsong
Fast shipping. Not quite as good as Plainsong.
Published 15 days ago by Bobbi's Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Painful
The characters in this book certainly experienced more difficulties than in "Plainsong". I found it more laborious to read. I would not recommend it to friends.
Published 1 month ago by jane.tally
5.0 out of 5 stars this town, these people, Haaruf has given us a gem again
sometimes it is just healthy to spend time with ordinary people, living ordinary lives---that I will never forget...looking forward to his other titles
Published 1 month ago by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reads
I enjoyed this very much. I read plainsong first and was pleased with both books. The writing was beautul. The characters came to life.
Published 1 month ago by Maureen Bernstein
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a book club selection.
Our book club read "Plainsong" by Kent Haruf and really liked it. The author's style is very different -- simple and easy to read; he does not use quotation marks, but that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Naomi Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful novel
This novel has an interesting ensemble of characters that will make you cry and laugh. Most importantly, you care about their lives. Read Plainsong by the author first. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Virginia
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 or 5 stars?
This was a great sequel to Plainsong. Haruf's strength is his ability to create and develop realistic characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer O. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Might be such a thing as too much of Kent Haruf at one time
I read four of Haruf's books one right after the other. I grant he is a good writer, but by the time I got through "hearing" about all the situations that people get... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Donald H. Rhoads
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in a Small Kansas Town
I read Plainsong and could hardly put it down. This book does not disappoint as somewhat of a sequel to Plainsong. Two great books about lives intertwined in a small rural town. Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. Schlesser
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