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Benediction (Plainsong Series Book 3) by [Haruf, Kent]
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Benediction (Plainsong Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Review

"His finest-tuned tale yet. . . . There is a deep, satisfying music to this book, as Haruf weaves between such a large cast of characters in so small a space. . . . Strangely, wonderfully, the moment of a man's passing can be a blessing in the way it brings people together. "Benediction" recreates this powerful moment so gracefully it is easy to forget that, like [the town of] Holt, it is a world created by one man." --John Freeman, "The Boston Globe" "Haruf is the master of what one of his characters calls 'the precious ordinary'. . . . With understated language and startling emotional insight, he makes you feel awe at even the most basic of human gestures." --Ben Goldstein, "Esquire" "Grace and restraint are abiding virtues in Haruf's fiction, and they resume their place of privilege in his new work. . . . For readers looking for the rewards of an intimate, meditative story, it is indeed a blessing." --Karen R. Long, "The Cleveland Plain Dealer" "Haruf is maguslike in his gifts. . . to illuminate the inevitable ways in which tributary lives meander toward confluence. . . . Perhaps not since Hemingway has an American author triggered such reader empathy with so little reliance on the subjectivity of his characters. . . . [This] is a modestly wrought wonder from one of our finest living writers." --Bruce Machart, "The Houston Chronicle" "As Haruf's precise details accrue, a reader gains perspective: This is the story of a man's life, and the town where he spent it, and the people who try to ease its end. . . . His sentences have the elegance of Hemingway's early work [and his] determined realism, which admits that not all of our past actions or the reasons behind them are knowable, even to ourselves, is one of the book's satisfactions." --John Reimringer, "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune" "We've waited a long time for an invitation back to Holt, home to Kent Haruf's novels. . . He may be the most muted master in American fiction [and]

Book Description

One long last summer for Dad Lewis in his beloved town, Holt, Colorado. As old friends pass in and out to voice their farewells and good wishes, Dad’s wife and daughter work to make his final days as comfortable as possible, knowing all is tainted by the heart-break of an absent son. Next door, a little girl with a troubled past moves in with her grandmother, and down town another new arrival, the Reverend Rob Lyle, attempts to mend strained relationships of his own. Utterly beautiful, and devastating yet affirming, Benediction explores the pain, the compassion and the humanity of ordinary people.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1085 KB
  • Print Length: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (11 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447227549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447227540
  • ASIN: B00BUOA2AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a novel where very little happens. There are no wars, no gunfights, no sex scenes, no murders or robberies or explosions, physical or emotional. But there is a quiet summer afternoon swimming in the water tower. There is the hesitant farewell visit by old employees of Dad's store. There are church services, temporarily lost children, disappointed faces. There are women and men, all equally well-drawn, all equally created with sensitivity, wisdom and humour. This is a novel of real lives truly lived in a fictional America which is more real in the consciousness of Americans than the one that really does exist. I think of Haruf's novels as portrayals of the tranquil majesty of regular lives. There is such truth in his voice, such beauty in his words that I find myself getting quite emotional just thinking about it.

Benediction completes a trilogy which is, I believe, one of the great creations of contemporary American fiction. I don't think there's much more I can say about it than that.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In Holt, Colorado, 77 year old hardware store owner Dad Lewis is dying. Now is the time for final visits to local places that mean so much to him; a time to reconsider key moments in his life, a time to ensure all is sorted. A time too for regrets, hallucinations increasing as the end draws near. Loyal wife Mary, herself frail, tends his needs, as does daughter Lorraine. Neighbours rally round. Noticeably absent is estranged son Frank. Exactly what happened all those years ago?

So many characters are vividly portrayed with words used sparingly, their lives and aspirations laid bare. Amongst them is preacher Lyle, himself at a turning point. Congregations have been outraged when reminded what Christ's teaching means in practical terms. They want rid.

I know nothing of Kent Haruf's earlier work, an omission clearly needing to be remedied. Here is a tale evocatively told and hauntingly sad, the style direct and totally involving. We are intimately present at a dying and a death - only to be reminded that this, at the time so important, is but a very minor matter in the overall scheme of things.

The ordinary has been pinpointed and elevated into something special.
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Format: Paperback
In this one particular long, hot summer in Holt, Colorado, this novel tells of seventy seven year old Dad Lewis who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Looked after tenderly by his adoring wife and loyal daughter this novel reveals his thoughts, regrets, heartbreak and memories of his life, in particular his estrangement from his gay son who left home as soon as he possibly could and whom his family hasn’t seen for years, so great was the family rift. Ghosts from his past also visit his dreams as he searches for resolutions and peace from past mistakes and decisions he has lived to regret.

He endures visits from neighbours, friends, his employees, the local pastor, the hospice nurse; all gathering around his deathbed to offer their support, affection, compassion, goodbyes and friendship. But, although the subject of impending death is unquestionably sad, this novel rises above that, and, by the addition of other new characters, examines the joy and hope that Daisy, the young grandchild of Dad Lewis’ neighbour brings to the wider community with her fresh young experiences. Another character new to the neighbourhood is Reverend Rob Lyle, who has a crisis within his ministry and is also dealing with a very troubled son and deeply unhappy wife, whilst experiencing problems within his congregation. Humour is injected into scenes as well, which lightens such a dark and sad story.

This is the third and final novel in the evocative and wonderful Plainsong trilogy.
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By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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