Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf
My friend and I were out a few months ago and we were both discussing, or dare I say whingeing, about the depressing and desolate book we had just read. It was heavy reading about a heavy subject that dragged me down into despair. Why are the subjects of so many books on such heavy subjects? Nothing to cheer me up. So it was with gay abandon that when she recommended Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf, I dashed out and bought it that day. It had been part of her Book Club reading and she had rejoiced in the lightness and loveliness of the novel. How could I resist?
Our Souls at Night did not disappoint. However, it disturbs me yet again that I had not heard of this author prior to reading the book and now he has passed away (2014). I am left with 6 novels to purchase and devour! The story revolves around two characters – Addie and Louis – who live in a small town in the US called Holt, Colorado. Both are widowers and have known each other socially for many years, without really knowing each other. One day Addie pays a visit to Louis and makes a proposition – and it isn’t exactly what you are thinking!
It is a really lovely proposition. However, in the small town of Holt, opinion is “small town”, gossip is rife, and assumptions are made. They learn about each other as their relationship progresses and discover that assumptions about each other weren’t always correct either. Addie’s grandson comes to stay when her son’s marriage is on the rocks and this again causes angst about their relationship, when all I can see is stability and love for the boy.
I truly adored this book. It is small and concise, there is no need for 500 pages to tell the story, this writing is beautiful in its “sparseness”. The story appears simple but there were many issues covered within the story. Pick it up and give it a go – you will have it finished before dinner is on the table!