Benediction

Benediction

Book - 2013
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A Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year

From the beloved and best-selling author of Plainsong and Eventide comes a story of life and death, and the ties that bind, once again set out on the High Plains in Holt, Colorado.

When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hastens back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank, but this cannot be willed away and remains a palpable presence for all three of them. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the painful memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. Meanwhile, the town's newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and teenaged son, a task that proves all the more challenging when he faces the disdain of his congregation after offering more than they are accustomed to getting on a Sunday morning. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

Despite the travails that each of these families faces, together they form bonds strong enough to carry them through the most difficult of times.  Bracing, sad and deeply illuminating, Benediction captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, including its extinction, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way. Here Kent Haruf gives us his most indelible portrait yet of this small town and reveals, with grace and insight, the compassion, the suffering and, above all, the humanity of its inhabitants. 
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780307959881
0307959880
Branch Call Number: FIC Haruf
Characteristics: 257 p.

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h
haileyj
Jan 28, 2016

I love Haruf's writing style and he will be missed. This is a gentle story once again of the small town of Holt and it's inhabitants. The story revolves around the final days of a dying man and his family while still showing other's lives....just how life in a small town would be. It's not action-packed but seems very real. A quick read.

o
ownedbydoxies
Oct 26, 2015

This man's writing is simple in style, but so rich in detail and in emotion, it's mesmerizing. A family in a small Colorado town, is facing the imminent death of the father, while other lives go on around and rotate in and out of theirs. Beautiful. Just beautiful, in how Haruf sums up our little lives and shows how they impact on others.

c
cknightkc
May 31, 2015

I enjoyed this quiet, reflective novel. The author has a gift for dialogue and setting. The manner in which the characters spoke sounded "real" and authentic. Kent Haruf captured the "feel" of rural, small-town life in the Colorado high plains. If you're looking for an action-packed story, this novel is definitely NOT for you.

j
jweitz
Nov 08, 2014

I enjoyed Benediction which very clearly described the family dynamics that can complicate life.

c
czarina815
Aug 28, 2014

Beautifully written and deeply moving. It left me still immersed in the story and the lives of these characters and wondering about how the survivors' lives would turn out. The ending moved me to tears -- and that rarely happens.

m
markd
Aug 24, 2014

I enjoyed the connections and the various stories around them. There were many threads and I found them to be woven together well. I was reminded that we are each a story and that time keeps moving forward and other stories happen to replace those that draw to a close.

m
molly
May 01, 2014

A few pages and I tossed it back.

l
lpodell
Mar 29, 2014

Remember liking, but not much else

Jane60201 Mar 06, 2014

The book was a very light, fast read. Wouldn't recommend it.

mrsgail5756 Jan 25, 2014

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites.

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c
cknightkc
May 31, 2015

I enjoyed this quiet, reflective novel. The author has a gift for dialogue and setting. The manner in which the characters spoke sounded "real" and authentic. Kent Haruf captured the "feel" of rural, small-town life in the Colorado high plains. If you're looking for an action-packed story, this novel is definitely NOT for you.

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