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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Every living thing in this world gets weaned eventually."
Three years after the author's previous novel, Plainsong, concluded, the author returns to Holt, Colorado, continuing the story of Raymond and Harold McPheron, elderly ranchers who lived in almost complete isolation until they agreed to provide a safe haven for a scared and pregnant teenager, three years ago. With other familiar characters from Plainsong also returning in...
Published on 19 May 2004 by Mary Whipple

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable To A Degree.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were very well drawn & developed.Likewise - the sense of place/ location descriptions.

What I didn't like was the overburdened telling of detailing in sentence construction, which became tedious at times. I felt like I was being told too much at times.

I also felt I knew what would happen...
Published on 3 Mar. 2010 by bookworm26


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Every living thing in this world gets weaned eventually.", 19 May 2004
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Eventide (Hardcover)
Three years after the author's previous novel, Plainsong, concluded, the author returns to Holt, Colorado, continuing the story of Raymond and Harold McPheron, elderly ranchers who lived in almost complete isolation until they agreed to provide a safe haven for a scared and pregnant teenager, three years ago. With other familiar characters from Plainsong also returning in minor roles, the novel then broadens to focus on three additional families, whose new stories the author deftly juggles and interweaves. Somewhat more thoughtful and complex than Plainsong, Eventide quickly engages the reader with its unpretentious style, revealing dialogue, and often heart-tugging scenes of difficult lives.
Luther and Betty June Wallace are some of Haruf's most beautifully drawn characters. Extremely limited in their understanding, they receive professional assistance in everything from budgeting to parenting classes, anger management, and lessons in cleanliness. DJ Kephart, a small eleven-year-old whose responsibilities make him seem much older, is an orphan, now living with his elderly, often bed-ridden, grandfather, for whom he does all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. He and his neighborhood friends, Dena and Emma Wells, whose father is in Alaska, spend their free time turning an abandoned shed into a playhouse, a peaceful, make-believe home where adults do not intrude. Suddenly, separate acts of fate, involving the McPheron brothers and each of these three families, upend all their lives and set in motion a series of events which will change them forever.
Death, illness, injury, abandonment, abuse, and the arbitrary harshness of fate all contribute to emotional crises the characters must find the strength to overcome. As Raymond McPheron says, simply, these acts of fate and disaster are "things you don't get over," but, as he notes while he is separating cows from their calves, "Every living thing in this world gets weaned eventually." Deliberately simple in style, but polished and graceful in its realization, the novel is full of the love and travail, the effort and failure, and the kindness and cruelty that fill the lives of these plainspoken, often endearing, characters.
Vibrant, almost lyrical descriptions of the land and nature are seen in the context of sudden emergencies arising on the ranch, and every scene of tenderness and love is juxtaposed against scenes of cruelty and inhumanity. A master at evoking emotion, Haruf tugs at the heartstrings of even the most stoic reader, drawing the reader into scenes of warmth and poignancy, only to jolt him/her with new scenes that kill the sentimentality. Life can be cruel, fate can be capricious, and things do not always turn out "right," but Haruf's characters somehow soldier on, with the reader right beside them, heartstrings thrumming. (4.5 stars) Mary Whipple
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same quality as "Plainsong": Excellent!, 27 May 2005
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In the previous novel in this set, Haruf clearly showed that he is a master storyteller. He chose a simple plot, which was seemingly as plain as the title, but he reached the reader's heart with his artistry. In "Eventide", he goes a step farther, by building on what he created and delivering a story with more shocking events, but just as good.
Victoria, the young girl who delivered her baby girl at the conclusion of "Plainsong", has played an important role in the life of the old brothers McPheron. And they have gotten used to having her and Katie around, but now Victoria is leaving them to go to college, and they have to face their newfound solitude. But they seem to be managing OK, until disaster strikes, and the only tool for survival becomes resorting to the power of love and friendship.
In order to give some variety, Haruf assigns a less prominent role to Tom Guthrey and his kids, characters that were central to "Plainsong". Instead, he presents a family that has conflicts to spare, a mature boy that has to take care of his grandfather, and a woman with two girls abandoned by her husband.
Once more, the author shows a marked ability for describing human emotions and to present everyday situations with such passion and skill that the reader cannot help feeling immersed in the novel. In that way, we get to share the problems, sadness, desperation and joy of the main characters as if the events were affecting ourselves or those we love. These are some of the reasons why I believe this is one of the best novels I have ever read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The extraordinary and the ordinary, 14 April 2012
By 
Bluecashmere. (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Eventide (Paperback)
In every way this book lives up to the promise of "Plainsong". It is equally amazing in its skill in presenting the lives of ordinary people, often taciturn like Raymond and Harold or of limited articulacy like Betty and Luther. Without lapsing into sentimentality, and with a self-effacing recording of the simple events of everyday life in a small Colorado community, Kent Haruf engages our feelings at some considerable depth. There is such a powerful sense of actuality that we are drawn slowly but relentlessly into the lives of his characters. As he never condescends towards them, neither do we. Indeed, we are often caught unawares by the depth and sharpness of feeling that his characters experience and that we share. The different ways in which they come to terms with both the challenges and the limitations of their lives is sometimes painful, often heartening and never less than fascinating. A very fine book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful and moving book, 2 Feb. 2009
By 
Nicky (west yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eventide (Hardcover)
I was really moved by the characters in Plainsong, so when I finished reading I was glad I had bought the sequel. We meet more characters in this book, but it retains its vivid sense of place and its realism. There is tragedy, but also the sense that life carries on, and that good hearted people do the best they can. One of my favourite books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I like Kent Haruf's style, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Eventide (Plainsong 2) (Paperback)
I like Kent Haruf's style. He allows one to review the every day minutiae of living & appreciate how all one's behaviour and habits can have a deeper significance when seen in total. He does this without having recourse to "purple passages" or literary rhetoric, but by using the language of everyday people he builds up a gripping emotive tale. I feel he has a lot in common with some of Faulkner's writing. A pleasure to read.
It is not for everyone but would appeal to those who enjoy reflecting about loneliness , isolation and what shapes the human psyche. English students should read it for the style & use of language.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and brilliant writer, Kent Haruf's characters are so authentic that ..., 28 Dec. 2014
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A second masterpiece to follow Plainsong, and all that I said in my review of Plainsong equally applies to Eventide. A unique and brilliant writer, Kent Haruf's characters are so authentic that we gain insights into our own human condition, and our own emotional worlds. One final thing to say here is that this includes the arbitrary emotions and actions and Haruf's abilities to unflinchingly deal with everything - the brutal the brave and almost above all else, the 'ordinarinesses' and extra-ordinarinesses found in lives that are fully alive in the day-to-day. Amazing! Trevor Edmands
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, 1 April 2008
This review is from: Eventide (Paperback)
Well after reading plainsong, which by the way is brilliant, I bought two more of Haruf's books. what can i say Eventide is a follow up to Plaingsong and it was great to get back into the lives of these characters. I just love them. This follow up is just as good as Plainsong.I couldn't stop reading . I'm now reading The tie that binds and it's got hold of me already and I've only just started. You must read these books he is now one of my favorite authors. His stories stay with you for a very long time.Please read them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable To A Degree., 3 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Eventide (Paperback)
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were very well drawn & developed.Likewise - the sense of place/ location descriptions.

What I didn't like was the overburdened telling of detailing in sentence construction, which became tedious at times. I felt like I was being told too much at times.

I also felt I knew what would happen next...
And a bit 'saccharin-tinted' in parts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully simple tale about the complexities of life., 22 July 2011
This review is from: Eventide (Paperback)
Kent Haruf has a beautifully spare way of writing about which draws me in completely. His tale is that of ordinary folk going about the business of living with all of the pain and joy that this encompasses. Not many books make me sob and laugh out loud, but this one did.

In some respects I enjoyed Eventide even more than Plainsong.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Eventide (Plainsong 2) (Paperback)
Absolutely brilliant, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, really brilliant, Eventide and Plainsong both beautiful haunting books. The writing is sparse, every word counts, the description of the individual characters is matched with the portrayal of the Colorado landscape. Ordinary lives made extraordinary.
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Eventide (Plainsong 2)
Eventide (Plainsong 2) by Kent Haruf (Paperback - 11 April 2013)
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