Haruf is know for his gentle, soulful stories (Plainsong Trilogy, etc.) which are all set in the Holt Colorado, the heartland of America. He comes at things from a slightly different perspective, always looking for the ways fostering relationships and being kind and generous can be more life giving than doing the expected thing or following the rules. Our Souls At Night is another such story and a welcome addition to his growing list of inspiring and thoughtful novels.
One night Addie goes next door to her neighbor, Louie Waters’ home and knocks on the door. They have been neighbors for years, raised their children side by side. Addie was good friends with Louie’s wife. But now their children are gone and live quite far a way. Addie’s husband died years ago as did Louie’s wife. They have been living in empty houses next to each other for quite a few years now. As Louies welcomes Addie into the house, she wonders if they might be able to do something for each other, something that will help assuage the loneliness they both feel.
As Louie and Addie get to know each other they share what they have learned from their own lives; the regrets and joys the have experienced and they begin to see that in each other they may have found that elusive second chance for a new life.
Haruf is a writer of few words. This novel is only 193 pages long and yet the power and depth of words that form this story are quite astounding. Louie and Addie are quiet but extraordinary characters whose loneliness, joy, conflict and failings we can see quite clearly and in the process realize ourselves in them. What always amazing me in Hauf’s books is the underlying sense of goodness that seems to permeate his books. This is not a a fake thing where everything is contrived to work out happily in the end, but rather this sense of goodness runs through his writing almost like a blessing telling us that even in our worst moments or our best, life is good and we are enough.
Brenda’s Rating: *****(5 Out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Keith, Marian, Lauren and Sharon
Book Study Worthy? Yes!
Read in ebook format