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Benediction
Kent Haruf
Adult Fiction HARUF

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Holt, the fictional Colorado town where all of Haruf's novels are set, longtime resident Dad Lewis is dying of cancer. Happily married (he calls his wife "his luck"), Dad spends his last weeks thinking over his life, particularly an incident that ended badly with a clerk in his store, and his relationship with his estranged son. As his wife and daughter care for him, life goes on: one of the Lewises' neighbors takes in her young granddaughter; an elderly woman and her middle-aged daughter visit with the Lewises, with each other, and with the new minister, whose wife and son are unhappy about his transfer to Holt from Denver. Haruf isn't interested in the trendy or urban; as he once said, he writes about "regular, ordinary, sort of elemental" characters, who speak simply and often don't speak much at all. "Regular and ordinary" can equate with dull. However, though this is a quiet book, it's not a boring one. Dad and his family and neighbors try, in small, believable ways, to make peace with those they live among, to understand a world that isn't the one in which they came of age. Separately and together, all the characters are trying to live-and in Dad's case, to die-with dignity, a struggle Haruf (Eventide) renders with delicacy and skill. Agent: Nancy Stauffer Cahoon, Nancy Stauffer Associates. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

After the critical and popular success of Plainsong and its sequel, Eventide, Colorado native Haruf returns to his fictional town of Holt, on the high plains of eastern Colorado. As Dad Lewis, a central figure in the community, lies dying, he looks out from his bedroom window over the familiar wheat fields and pastures dotted with black cattle. His wife, Mary, is constantly by his side, and daughter Lorraine has left a lackluster romance in Denver to come help. Only the Lewises' relationship with their absent son, Frank, clouds Dad's blessed life. Numerous neighbors stop by to keep Dad's spirits up despite being burdened with their own cares. Rev. Lyle's heartwarming stories of people he's helped cover up a dark past. The Johnson women, mother Willa and daughter Alene, appear dull and unremarkable, but Alene hides an intense loneliness stemming from a passionate affair with a married man. As Dad's life slips away, these neighbors forge indelible bonds. -VERDICT Haruf captures the sadness and hardship, the joys and triumphs behind the lives of ordinary people. Benediction has an understated Our Town quality that's all the more powerful in the hands of this master storyteller. This is exceptional fiction not to be missed. [See Prepub Alert, 9/10/12.]-Donna Bettencourt, Mesa County Libs., Grand Junction, CO (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Dad Lewis
Male
Married
Diagnosed with terminal cancer; spending his last days with his wife and daughter, but misses his estranged son.
Hardware store proprietor

Mary Lewis
Female
Married
Trying to make her husband's last days comfortable.

Lorraine Lewis
Female
Hastens back from Denver to be with her father who is dying of terminable cancer; misses her estranged brother.

Alice
Girl
Moves in with her grandmother who lives next door to the Lewis's; dealing with the painful memories of her own mother's death.



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