Sunday, August 18, 2013


Kent Haruf


Genre: Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads):  When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the bitter absence of their estranged son. Next door, a young girl moves in with her grandmother and contends with the memories that Dad’s condition stirs up of her own mother’s death. A newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and son, and soon faces the disdain of his congregation when he offers more than they are used to getting on Sunday mornings. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do all they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

Review: Haruf's novel Plainsong is one of my favorite books, so I was excited to pick up his newest novel at the library.  While this book is written in the same spare, simplistic style and deals with everyday life in the same touching way, I found this book too bleak to really enjoy.  I knew the main story would focus on the death of Dad Lewis from cancer, but it was the stories of the secondary characters, particularly Pastor Lyle, his son John Wesley, and Frank that I found so depressing and lacking in hope.

Rating: 2 stars

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