OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, by Kent Haruf, is his last novel. This great novelist left us in the fall. He will be sorely missed. But he’s left us with a handful of great novels, all taking place in a small made-up town in Colorado called Holt.
OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, touched my heart. It sang to me from the first paragraph. I had no idea what to expect. That’s the beauty of Haruf’s work. He throws in stuff that seems unlikely. When the first paragraph went like this: ” And then there was the day when Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters.” This was not just any visit, though. You see, Addie had a little something special to ask of Louis. And these were not just any two people: they both were older folk who had lost their spouses, recently. They were lonely. And Addie finally asks Louis, after much skirting of the issues, “ I wonder if you would consider coming to my house sometimes to sleep with me.” Now the story truly gets going:)
Kent Haruf was blessed with his innate ability to use dialog to tell his stories. And to bring his simple characters to life. In OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, he tells the story of Addie and Louis, and their lives before and after their spouses pass away. It makes me think of all the lonely people living alone who may not have to be. People live lives of quiet desperation. Everyday, everywhere. We each need someone to share our lives with in some way or form.
I kept thinking about how as young people we are scolded about what we wear, who we hang out with, and what we do. Then, when we are older, it is once again, about who we hang with and what we do. Neighbors are nosey. Adult children poke their noses into our business and make assumptions, just because we are senior citizens. Old people have the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they are physically, mentally, and monetarily able. Amen
We watch this lovely story become tense as children jump into the huddle and make a mess. And neighbors jabber away over fenceposts because they have nothing better to do, or are just jealous. Haruf handles his last novel with the poignancy and spare prose; all lovely and I find I will keep OUR SOULS AT NIGHT, to reread over and over again!
My review copy came from Random House, and I am so blessed to have it. The opinions are all mine.