8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HARUF AT HIS BEST,
This review is from: Benediction (Plainsong 3) (Hardcover)
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And that's pretty damn good. I have been waiting for a few years for this one and it has been well worth the wait. In his beloved small Colorado home town Dad Lewis is dying. Dad the local hardwear store owner is respected with great affection by fellow citizens and as his light fades he recalls sometimes to himself and sometimes with his loving wife of many years and his adult daughter episdodes of a decent well lived life. He was no saint, just an average guy making the most of the hand he had been dealt. As his wife, daughter and close friends do all that they can to make his final days comfortable and happy, there is always a dark cloud over him as he ponders the estrangement of their only son, whose only crime was being gay in a less enlightened time. Could he, a kind man, who helped many have done more for his son. In his last few days as he puts the final touches to his affairs, this thought haunts him. If they could find him would he want to see his dying father. As he nears his end we wonder: will we meet this now middle aged man and will there be forgiveness all round ?
Perhaps I have made this sound totally gloomy and sad, but it is not. There are plenty light hearted passages like the three generations of "girls" deciding on a sweltering hot day to strip naked and go skinning dipping in the cattle water tank. We also get glimpses of family life behind closed doors as the preacher and his wife struggle to hold their marriage together, not helped by the love life of their teenage son. The town turns on the Rev. Rob Lyle as his honest preaching rocks their comfortable boat. He is sacked, but Dad Lewis true to his principles to the end demands that he takes his funeral and if no church will allow in the Rev. Lyle then the services will be in the Lewis garden.
No one captures the humanity of ordinary people better than Kent Haruf. He writes with a beautiful economical style which again captivated me from page one.
Buy it and you are in for a rare treat.