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The Tie That Binds Paperback – March 21, 2000
2016 Book Awards
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"An impressive, expertly crafted work of sensitivity and detail. . . . Powerful." --Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[A] fine first novel that dramatically and accurately explores the lives of people who work the land in the stark American Middle West." --The New York Times Book Review
"Kent Haruf writes so wonderfully. . . . His characters live, and the voice of his narrator reverberates after the last page: humorous, ironic, loving." --The Christian Science Monitor
"Haruf's gifts as a writer go beyond choreography. He has caught his prairie people with the skill of Wright Morris, the prairie itself with the sweeping eye of Willa Cather. . . . [I]t's nearly impossible to believe this is his first novel." --Rocky Mountain News
From the Inside Flap
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Sanders' father once had a romantic attachment to Edith but Roy rejects him because he's part Native American. His father never quite gets over Edith and makes Sanders help out at the Goodnoughs when Roy tries to make Edith work in the fields. She becomes a second mother to Sanders.
These characters are simply amazing. Lyman Goodnough, who escapes his father during WWII and travels the U.S. for most of his life, is a true original. Little Rena Roscoe, Sanders' daughter, adds a little comic relief to the story when she forms an attachment to the increasingly senile Lyman. About the only character from PLAINSONG that's familiar is Sheriff Bud Sealy, who incites Sanders' wrath when he arrests Edith. Believe me, it doesn't matter; this author can make the most transitory character resonate with life.
Kent Haruf has more compassion in his little toenail than some of our religious leaders have in their whole congregation. When Edith's father dies, she winds up alone. Haruf's description of what this does to a person, sent shivers up my spine. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. I've read PLAINSONG, EVENSONG and now THE TIE THAT BINDS, and I can't wait for the next episode in the lives of the people who live in Holt, Colorado.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have enjoyed all,of Haruf,s books, and wish there were more. Simple stories about people, their problems, and their relationships. Sensitive and true.Published 1 month ago by Edmond M Koury
Returned, suppose a good story line, but, a bit wordy on description of scenery, I do not like to read for 30 minutes about the scenery around a barn, etc. Book was returned.Published 3 months ago by Crazy about taxes
Edith is the focus of this story. Unrelentingly self-sacrificing to a no good father and brother and turning away happiness for herself and a man who loved her. Hmmm. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carolyn Keen
The story is alarming, and captivating. It wraps around you until you realize you are hooked,you really care for the character's a nd cannot wait to hear how the story unfolds. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer