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Eventide Paperback – May 3, 2005
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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 theyd 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I went to the same college as Kent did and I have lived in CO for a long time so this hit close to home. I recognized places, characters, and the truth of small towns. I loved it.Published 10 days ago by Sherry Swanson
This was a great read in my opinion, as I read through the book, I felt as though I was there and knew theses characters. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Connie L.
Sequel of well written story with interesting characters. Good writer, Enjoyed and you will, too.Published 15 days ago by JA
This was as gentle and heartfelt as the first in this series. He writes the way the simple folk of fictional Holt live, simply, sparely, and as honestly as possible. Read morePublished 23 days ago by discerning/fussy life appreciator
I did not read Plainsong first and it wasn't necessary. The book is well written and the story is an emotional one. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Gigi
Too bad Kent Haruf has past away. I've read everthing he had written & loved his style.Published 23 days ago by Ken Timeon
These are compelling stories about simple people who ived their lives as best they could in another time and another place far removed from the stresses of city life today.Published 26 days ago by Peggy M.