Eventide by Kent Haruf


Sometime before 2006 I read Plainsong by Kent Haruf and loved it. (I know it was before 2006 because I read it in the pre-blog life.)  My very vague memory is that it was one of those books that you fall into, that slows down your breathing and overtakes your monkey brain.  And I remember the old, lovable twin-like farmer brothers who took in the pregnant teenager.

So I fully expected to be enchanted by the next book in the triology which features the brothers as well as the young woman and her daughter. What is it that put me off?  Perhaps it's the overly folksy talk of everyone in the town or the deliberate, slow-motion recounting of events that seem too contrived. The interaction of the good hearted, but truly incompetent (on the most fundamental level) couple to care for and protect their children just did not ring true for me. All the characters seemed flat and and were too predictable.

I wish I could find the appeal of that description of life in small town Colorado, but it just escaped me in this book; in fact, I found it to be a bit creepy somehow. 

Kent Haruf, Eventide, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004, 300 pages.


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