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Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Reaching Out for Comfort on Their Own Terms

In this elegant novella, we meet Addie and Louis, widowers in their early seventies and near neighbors. They live in the fictitious, small town of Holt in southeast Colorado. Neither Addie nor Louis had wildly happy marriages. Addie’s daughter Connie was accidentally killed when she was a child, and her embittered husband retreated into himself, with little affection leftover for Addie or their young son, Gene. Louis, a high school teacher, played out his dissatisfaction with his own marriage by having a brief affair. It was eventually broken off, but in small town Holt, the memory of scandal is long and unforgiving.
So, when Addie invites Louis to spend the night with her for the comfort of having a warm, breathing body sleeping beside her in the dark and loneliness of night, Louis packs a paper sack containing his pajamas and toothbrush and begins his nightly visits to Addie’s. Together, they find companionship, friendship, warmth, fun, and a love that is at once, adult and innocent.
Enter the offspring. Addie’s son, Gene, struggling with a failed business and a rocky marriage, leaves his six year old with Addie while he tries to get his life in order. The little boy is sad, lonely, and confused. A little like Addie. But Addie comforts him with normalcy, routines, and kindness. Louis befriends him, teaches him to play catch, and buys him a dog. All is well until Gene re-enters the picture furious about Addie’s “scandalous” relationship with Louis, imagines that Louis is just after her money, and uses the threat of withholding visits with his son to blackmail Addie into putting a stop to her friendship with Louis.
The story of these two relatively uncomplicated, decent people is written in a spare, elegant style with dialogue that rings with authenticity and is a pleasure to read. This was Kent Haruf’s last book before his death in 2015, and is a reminder of what a truly good writer he was. Readers will be inspired to go back and read some of the other titles by this author. And at this time, we have all of his previous works in our collection. Happy reading!
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Comments (6)833

6 comments on article "Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf"

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1/13/2017 3:36 AM

In religion, it's far believed that the frame is a vessel for your soul. And when you die, it's your soul that goes to heaven or hell, and your frame in reality remains in the back of on the planet having served its purpose. that is nothing extra than a coping mechanism of our species. we're the simplest species on the planet that think like this. This concept manner boils down to 2 statistics...


Aaliyah Goodwin

2/8/2017 4:15 AM

OISE is correct that those two books, in addition to Benediction, are the works that brought him consideration, and they are splendid. Every one of Haruf's books are set in Holt, CO and a large portion of the characters show up in various books, yet you don't need read them all together, or in fact read them by any means, to take after things. It so happens that I began with Plainsong, http://www.dissertationclub.co.uk/ however it happened to be the first I found. I truly cherish his initial work, for example, The Tie That Binds, as well. I think you could begin anyplace. In spite of the fact that it's not something I typically see, I think he is one of the male essayists most skilled at making reasonable, complex female characters - will be intrigued to check whether you concur!


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4/22/2017 12:13 AM

There are a few of contemporary writers who will make an enduring imprint and Kent Haruf is unquestionably one of them. His peaceful stories in their effortlessness are important, insightful stories reflecting the intricacy of the human condition.

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