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I've read quite a few five-star books, but very few “perfect” books. By perfect, I mean beautifully written and well-plotted, a book that has the power to pull me in to the story completely, and one that says something so personal that it feels like the author wrote it for me. Our Souls at Night is a perfect book. I've loved Kent Haruf's Holt trilogy, especially Benediction, and he has written a most marvelous final book. Perhaps I found it so moving because it is his final book, and as an author facing the end of life, Haruf has given the reader the gift of knowing exactly what needs to be said and saying it simply and eloquently.
I read several reviews while anxiously awaiting the publication of this book, so I expected the quiet and direct wonder of a personal novel about the search for happiness and the everyday. I was rewarded perfectly, profoundly, and more than amply.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful
Our Souls At Night is a very nice story about loneliness, compassion, and friendship. Neighbours in a small town who've both lost their spouses decide to sleep together at night, to avoid loneliness. Their relationship starts quite the gossip buzz in the their small town, and her son isn't keen on the idea of mom having a boyfriend- especially when her son dumps off his child from Grandma to take care of for a few months.
The short novel talks about the things that people do indeed face later in life. The feeling of being all alone, the worries of your children not approving of dating after the death of their parent, the unfairness of retirees having to take care of their grandchildren when their own children don't have enough responsibility to do so- all of these things are real. They happen every day. Haruf somehow tells the story of these types of things, and yet makes it beautiful- like it's a part of life that is supposed to be hurdled and dealt with in a natural sort of way.
Mark Bramhall, the narrator, couldn't be more perfect for this novel. His voice brings the short story to life, and it touches our hearts and makes us think.. 'What if this happens to me?'
4 all around stars
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
As a recently popular book club novel, 'Our Souls at Night' has received a lot of interest of late not least because of the film tie-in version. It is a touching and thought-provoking tale of love found in the later stages of life. Louis and Addie live only a stone's throw away from each other on the outskirts of small-town Colorado. Aware of her loneliness, Addie seeks companionship from widower Louis. As their relationship slowly develops, the pair face harsh criticism and judgement from gossiping neighbours and even their families - threatening their now essential relationship. Can this be overcome, or will they succumb to the pressure and break the bond that they have formed?
Whilst listening to this wonderfully narrated edition, my preconceptions of romance in the later years of life were challenged in the most subtle and poignant ways. What is also striking about this re-imagined boy meets girl story is that it was the author's last. Kent Haruf passed away only a week after his publisher received this swansong, and the story is all the more powerful for it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Beautiful sparse prose that starts off with a strange premise of two older widowed people deciding to spend their nights lying in the same bed talking about their lives. Of course, this doesn't sound like an immediately compelling story-line, but it quickly becomes a narrative that you want to follow and you care deeply about the characters. The story casts a wonderful hypnotic spell laced with melancholy. It is also life affirming. An utterly, utterly beautiful book that deserves to be more widely read. The narrator's delivery also perfectly enhances the quietly unfolding story and I am so glad that I listened to the audio-version.
Amazing I can identify with both characters and felt that they were so honest and with the sunset of their lives looming they found joy in each other
Pity the son had no insight to that joy
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a Beautifully written and narrated story. A real treat! I am so glad I found it as it has made a difference to my world views.