Monday, April 22, 2013

Benediction - Book Review

Over the years I've been told that if I loved Peace Like A River by Lief Enger (and I do) that I would love Plainsong and Eventide by Kent Haruf. I've purchased the books with the desire to read them but they joined the other books on my to-read shelf and have waited patiently. However, when I got the chance to read and review Haruf's newest work Benediction, I jumped at the chance. I spent two days this weekend completely enthralled by Haruf's novel.

Dad Lewis has owned and managed the hardware store in his small hometown a few hours west of Denver for years. Now, he's been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has just weeks to live. His daughter comes home to help her parents and spend the last days with her father while he attempts to reconcile his life and his strained relationship with his son. Other characters in town, rally around Dad and their stories blend with his in this final chapter of a life.

Reminding me so much of my own hometown and childhood in Eastern Utah, in Benediction, Haruf creates a town and  characters so simple and complex to be absolutely believable. It's a quiet, unassuming story of terrible importance. It is lovely, tender, beautiful. It's a study of character, integrity, regrets, and those things that quietly bind and destroy relationships.

While the ending left me wanting so much more, it was accurate in simulating that feeling of loss and desire for more that we often feel at the death of a loved one. Yet, even then, life goes on.

Haruf's other works have just been moved higher on my to-read shelf.

There is some swearing.

**I received a complimentary copy of Benediction is exchange for my review. No other compensation was received.**

1 comment:

anna said...

Plainsong is one of my favorite books. You have to read it.