Our Souls at Night

Our Souls at NightAnd then there was the day when Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters Louis and Addie are both getting on, in their 70s, Louis having lost his wife a year back, Addie a widow for some time Both are lonely and could do with some company While they have known each other for a long time, they have never been close Acquaintances than friends Until Addie suggests that it would be a great help, given her trouble sleeping, if Louis would consent to sleep with her, not hide the salami sleep together, but sleep, and talk, in the same bed, overnight, companionship Louis decides to give it a try Addie and Louis slowly begin to share their histories The biddies of Holt, male and female, are taken aback, of course, at the presumed impropriety, as if, once elderly and alone, it was somehow sinful to still want to have a life There are scenes in which they each are put on the spot and made to defend themselves to snickering locals about their arrangement Feel free to cheer Fueling his unhappiness with permanent rage about his childhood, Addie s son, Gene, in particular, cannot tolerate his mother and Louis being together, projecting into it his fantasy that Louis is in the relationship to somehow swindle Addie out of her money Problems ensue.Kent Haruf 1943 2014A consistent focus in Haruf s novels is the unconventional family, whether of elderly brothers taking in a pregnant girl, or grandparents taking care of an eight year old Well, that may not be all that unconventional these days, but it still ain t Ozzie and Harriet In this one, Addie s son, Gene, has his hands full with problems at home, so sends his son, Jamie, to stay with Addie for a stretch of summer Addie, Louis and Jamie form a very close relationship There are moving sequences of outings and bonding moments that exude love and comfort, a contrast to the difficult relationships experienced between closer blood relations and spouses Another Haruf concern is loneliness, at all ages It is not only the raison d etre of Louis and Addie s arrangement, but is considered in relation to their former marital relationships The loneliness of others comes in for some attention as well Connections from generation to generation are considered There are causes and effects, but life carries on Haruf said, in relation to Benediction in the very next house, there is this 8 year old girl who is the representative of hope and promise and youth and joy And so what I am wanting people to feel is that the beginning and the ending in all of our lives are set side by side They are not distinct from one another The same could very well be applied here, connecting the lives of folks at both ends of their mortality Haruf had been hoping to get to the January 2015 premier of the Denver Center production of a theater version of his novel Benediction The cast is much reduced in Our Souls at Night relative to that of his prior novels The focus is on the two main characters, with Jamie in a large supporting role, and remaining there for the entirety Of course their history brings in other players, but most remain off stage or pop by for cameos Addie and Louis trade stories each night in bed It is a simple and effective mechanism for looking at two lives, their effect on others and others effects on them Haruf used spare language, this, then that If his writing were a font, it would be sans serif And he is a master of showing instead of telling After a rage inducing encounter,At home he went out to the garden and hoed for an hour, hard, almost violentlyAfter a difficult scene, Haruf does not tell us how Louis feels There was a woman on the elevator, she looked at his face once and looked away.His symbolism is also simple, and effective The title refers not only to the time of day when Louis and Addie share their lives It reminds us that time is short A discussion about a nest of baby mice speaks to unpredictability Robert Redford and Jane Fonda as Louis and Addie from the Netflix production Image from VarietyIn an interview Haruf did with John Moore for The Denver Center, he talks about his use of references to his own work in the novel Kent Haruf I will tell you there is a reference to the play Benediction in this new book It s something these two old people have a little comment about John Moore That s part of the fun of reading of your stories Even in Benediction, which features all new characters, there are those small references that reward those people who have been with you from the beginning Kent Haruf It does And it was a chance for me to have a little fun Exactly as you say, people who know these other stories will immediately recognize what I am talking about He sets his tale in Holt, Colorado, a place that will be familiar to readers of his earlier work In another meta moment, his characters refer to the location in reference to seeing a play of a Kent Haruf story not Benediction as a way of letting readers know about his usual locale he took the physical details from Holt, the place names of the streets and what the country looks like and the location of things, but it s not this town And it s not anybody in this town All that s made up Well, of course Holt is fictitious but Haruf is making sure readers do not assign the place entirely to a single real location I guess he wanted to clear that up before he left us as a writer, I want to be thought of as somebody who had a very small talent but worked as best he could at using that talent I want to think that I have written as close to the bone as I could By that I mean that I was trying to get down to the fundamental, irreducible structure of life, and of our lives with one another from the Denver Center interview I would disagree about the dimensions of his talent, but there is no question that Kent Haruf has offered the readers a world view that may be bare bones in its form, but which is glorious in its realization Our Souls at Night, his sixth novel, is the last book we will ever have from Kent Haruf It is hopeful without being saccharine Sharing love as darkness approaches may be one of love s highest forms, offering no short term trade for a probably unrealistic long term promise It makes the sharing sweeter, in a way I got the sense, without digging into specifics, that one thing Haruf was doing here was stopping off at some favorite spots in Holt for a final goodbye Holt will remain available for generations of readers Haruf passed away in November, 2014 at the age of 71 He will be missed.Review posted 6 26 15Publication date 5 16 15 EXTRA STUFFOther Kent Haruf books we have enjoyed Plainsong Eventide BenedictionHere is the complete Denver Center interviewIn an interview with Robert Birnbaum for the Identity Theory site In the Reader s Guide of Random House s page for the book, Haruf talks about how he worked The idea for the book has been floating around in my mind for quite a while Now that I know I have, you know a limited time it was important to me to try to make good use of that time So I went out there every day Typically, I have always had a story pretty well plotted out before I start writing This time I knew generally where the story was going, but I didn t know very many of the details So as it happened, I went out every day trusting myself to be able to add to the story each day So I essentially wrote a new short chapter of the book every day I ve never had that experience before I don t want to get too fancy about it, but it was like something else was working to help me get this done Call it a muse or spiritual guidance, I don t know All I know is that the trust I had in being able to write every day was helpful There is info to be had on Haruf from wikipedia and Barnes and NobleThe Netflix film first aired on September 29, 2017 It is a wonderful translation to film, capturing the essence of the book extraordinarily well, and with performances that are as wonderful as the written characters A couple images from the film Image from La Biennale Di VeneziaImage from The Times Only a few people can say they attended their grand mother s wedding I am one of them My Grannie was a widow for 15 years, met Gramps at a church outing and they married about 2 months after Grannie s 70th birthday Grannie was a joy in our lives lots of stories, songs, and best of all for me, a wonderful correspondent She was my most faithful pen pal for years Gramps was about a year and half younger than Grannie and she would tease us about her marrying a younger man.Gramps was a gentleman and a gentle man I remember how he would tuck her arm in his and walk on the outside of the sidewalk how he would always pull out her chair and seat her at meal times how he was unfailingly polite, respectful, and loving toward her Gramps didn t drive, but Grannie drove until she was 90 Gramps would always open the driver s door and ensure Grannie was settled before going around to the passenger s seat They had their 26th Wedding Anniversary in July and a couple of months later, Gramps died with Grannie following him in December Our families loved them both and I still think of them and miss them at times.Reading Kent Haruf s last novel, Our Souls at Night , was different yet it recalled to mind many aspects of Grannie and Gramps lives together Addie Moore, 70, is a widow and Louis Waters, a widower They have lived in the same small town for several decades and knew each other, their spouses, and their children.Addie and Louis are both lonely and they come together to talk, sharing their stories from the past, musing on the town s people and events, and going on outings together Their relationship is one that grows into something that is precious to both of them.Several things happen in the course of the story that draw them together There are also forces at work trying to pry them apart divided loyalties and family discord.The ending was poignant and sad in some respects, yet left room for hope When in doubt, I reach for the hope every time and a fistful of tissues. Readers took their time finding Kent Haruf, but he was a patient man who didn t care much for the trappings of fame anyhow His popularity swelled quickly, though, when he published his third novel, Plainsong, in 1999 at the age of 56 The book was a bestseller for months and a finalist for the National Book Award, which meant he had to dress up for the ceremony in New York and wear a medal on a ribbon around his neck and feel genuinely uncomfortable Afterward, he told the New York Times, We re nuts, crazy in this country about fame We expect writers to be something between Hollywood starlet and a village idiot By the time he died last November at the age of 71, he had successfully avoided either of those fates and published five quiet, beloved novels about the people of Holt, Colo., a fictional town drawn from his itinerant adolescence In his obituary, there was mention of a manuscript he d completed just before dying, and now we have a chance to read that final book Such posthumous publications come trailing clouds of skepticism, but Our Souls at Night is such a tender, carefully polished work that it seems a blessing we had no right to expect To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post http www.washingtonpost.com enterta There are a few contemporary writers who will make a lasting mark and Kent Haruf is most certainly one of them His quiet stories in their simplicity are meaningful , thoughtful stories reflecting the complexity of the human condition In his final novel , published posthumously, Haruf has given us another gift I fell in love with this book from page one , the first sentence and then the perfect description of Cedar Street in Holt , Colorado the place where all his books take place I fell in love with Louis Waters and Addie Moore and how they talk into the night about their lives and pasts , their transgressions , their hopes and desires , their losses , their families and how they bring joy to each other to ease the loneliness I love how the title so perfectly reflects this I love the humor and the honesty in their conversations I love that Haruf could even make fun of himself as readers of other of his works will appreciate.It s a beautifully told story , sad yet uplifting and even sadder that this will be the last time we hear from this elegant writer I m sad it was such a short book I will miss Louis and Addie s conversations I m not sure how I managed to miss reading one of his books but for some reason the only book of his that I haven t read is Where You once Belonged I m glad now that I have left myself one I ve decided to save it for the next time I m just not able to decide on what to read next I ll read it then because I know it will be a good one.I am so grateful to Random House and Edelweiss for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC. You d have to be stone hearted not to respond to this beautiful little novel about late in life love and companionship.In a small Colorado town, widowed neighbours Addie Moore and Louis Waters, who ve known each other for decades, agree to share their nights together rather than sleep alone This arrangement doesn t involve sex, although gossiping neighbours assume it does it s about sleeping in the same bed, talking, revealing stuff they don t tell anyone else This is how Addie explains her proposition to Louis I mean we re both alone We ve been by ourselves for too long For years I m lonely I think you might be too I wonder if you would come and sleep in the night with me And talk.He stared at her, watching her, curious now, cautious.You don t say anything Have I taken your breath away she said.I guess you have.I m not talking about sex.I wondered.No, not sex I m not looking at it that way I think I ve lost any sexual impulse a long time ago I m talking about getting through the night And lying warm in bed, companionably Lying down in bed together and you staying the night The nights are the worst Don t you think Yes I think so.Except for that awkward, five syllable beaut companionably, this is terrific writing Both have adult children from their marriages, and both have survived the big and little tragedies life has dealt them As the nights pass and their defenses come down, they open up about their hopes, dreams and compromises, often withholding the really painful stuff until they re ready Meanwhile, they have to deal with the townsfolk spreading rumours and the grumblings from their children, who live hours away Addie s son is going through a separation and for a while her sad, insecure grandson comes to stay with her.The writing is exquisite clear, funny, and unfussy, just like his characters This was Kent Haruf s last book, and you can sense him dispensing with artifice to get to the heart of a character and situation Even the book s opening lines get right to the point And then there was the day when Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters It was an evening in May just before full dark.Simple Folksy without being cloying, as if we re mid conversation and this story just comes up I don t want to say too much about the thin plot But there are scenes that make my eyes water just thinking about them Our Souls At Night is about living the examined life It s about reaching out and really communicating, not just existing, not just breathing To hell with what people think It s your life Live it And while you re at it, read this book UPDATED Sep 9, 2016 This is going to be an original Netflix film starring Jane Fonda as Addie and Robert Redford as Louis Also in the cast will be Bruce Dern Dorlan , Judy Greer Holly , Matthias Schoenaerts Gene and Iain Armitage, from Big Little Lies, as Addie s grandson Jamie It s produced by one of the producers of the recent film Brooklyn, and directed by Ritesh Batra, who proved he knows how to handle a delicate love story in the film The Lunchbox. Growing up, the earliest years of my childhood, my paternal grandparents lived close by, my father was a pilot and was frequently gone for days, and I spent many days in my grandparent s tiny caretaker apartment I would follow my grandfather around while he polished the pews of the church, spruced up the grounds, sat by his side and helped him write his poetry, or just sit a spell and ponder with him With my grandmother I d help piece her quilts together, or help her in their tiny kitchen making cookies, dough for bread, baking bread She would invariably send me home with a small ball of dough for my as a reminder that love grows when you hold it in your open hands When they moved to Florida, I was crushed, but I still saw them several times a year Not as often as weekly, but we wrote often The year my grandmother died, my father called to tell me the news and I cried Two days after she died, I got a letter in the mail I recognized the shaky cursive handwriting at once and whatever composure I d managed to grasp in that in between time dissolved There is nothing in that letter from my grandmother that was portentious, it was much the same as several other letters I d received from her, how the oranges in their grove were doing, and so on but these were her last words to me I cherish them I opened Our Souls at Night this last novel of Haruf s, much the same way, with reverence for these last words Haruf s writing, as always, has a quiet gentleness and compassion with so much basic goodness that is rare, a treasure In all of Haruf s novel, you must set aside the world and its busy ness, and just sit a spell and ponder. This is an absolutely beautiful story of two people who give comfort to each late in life I laughed and I cried I just loved this novel It is so well written and so lovely Louis and Addy are living in Holt, Colorado They ve known each other for many many years One day 70 year old Addy approaches Louis and asks him if he will come stay with her at night to sleep with her This is not a sexual thing Addy is having trouble sleeping Louis ends up going along with this I loved the stories that they told to each other, including their tragedies that made me cry I also loved Addie s curious Grandson and the dog that they got him The neighbors gossiped, but that didn t keep them apart I listened to the the audio version of this book It is exquisitely narrated by Mark Bramhall This is a short book It is only three and half hours long, but there is a lot of meaning and substance to it.I m ashamed to say that I have never read a Kent Haruf novel Since he has passed on, I will have to start reading some of his older works.Highly recommended to everyone who has yet to read it I am late to the party again, but I m so happy that I went I have a feeling these characters are going to stick with me for a very long time. This novella by the author of Plainsong 1999 may be short, but it is large enough to contain two souls and enough of the small town of Holt, Colorado to bring it vividly to life.The story is a simple one One evening Addie Moore, a widow of seventy, makes a visit to widower Louis Walters a longtime neighbor, but not someone she knows well and makes him a kind of proposal I wonder if you would come and sleep in the night with me and talk It s not about sex, she adds she thinks she lost the impulse long ago but about getting through the night, about lying warm in bed, companionably The next night, Louis takes her up on her offer And so begins the story of two souls at night, sharing their histories, their fears, and simple affection Their lives, however, soon become complicated, what with nosy neighbors, a visiting daughter, a small grandson, and a son who thoroughly disapproves.As we watch Addie and Louis move closer to one another, through night time conversations and day time adventures, we grow to care about their friendship and how it moves gently toward love The ending, though surprising, is perhaps inevitable But I had difficulty reading it through my tears. A Spare Yet Eloquent, Bittersweet Yet Inspiring Story Of A Man And A Woman Who, In Advanced Age, Come Together To Wrestle With The Events Of Their Lives And Their Hopes For The Imminent FutureIn The Familiar Setting Of Holt, Colorado, Home To All Of Kent Haruf S Fiction, Addie Moore Pays An Unexpected Visit To A Neighbor, Louis Waters Her Husband Died Years Ago, As Did His Wife, And In Such A Small Town They Naturally Have Long Been Aware Of Each Other, If Not Exactly Friends In Fact, Addie Was Quite Fond Of Louis S Wife His Daughter, Holly, Lives Hours Away In Colorado Springs Her Son, Gene, Even Farther Away In Grand Junction What Addie Has Come To Ask Since She And Louis Have Been Living Alone For So Long In Houses Now Empty Of Family, And The Nights Are So Terribly Lonely Is Whether He Might Be Willing To Spend Them With Her, In Her Bed, So They Can Have Someone To Talk WithLouis Is Surprised, Even Shocked, That She Would Ve Thought Of Him, Though He Soon Is Brave Enough To Try, Impressed By The Courage Of Her Proposal And So Their Lives Now Find A New Rhythm And Their Conversations Range Freely, If Sometimes Haltingly, Through Their Personal Histories His Work As A High School English Teacher The Loss Of Her Teenage Daughter, And The Harm This Did To Her Marriage As Well As Their Son His Brief Affair, As A Young Husband And Father, Which Addie Had Heard About Their Youthful Aspirations And Middle Age Disappointments And Compromises The Joy Both Feel In At Last Being Able To Express The Woof And Weave Of Their Experiences This Unusual Arrangement, As Addie Predicted, Provokes Local Comment, And Then The Disapproval Of Their Children, And Their Nightly Pattern Is Further Disrupted When Her Son, Whose Wife Has Departed For California, Asks Addie To Take In His Six Year Old Son, Jamie, For The Summer While He Tries To Solve His Various TroublesJamie Is Confused And Hurt, Of Course, But Gradually Finds Comfort In The Company Of His Grandmother And Her Friend Louis, Neither Of Whom Has Spent Much Time With Kids In Years But In Turn Learn How To All Over Again Teaching The Boy To Play Catch Adopting A Dog From The Local Shelter A Camping Trip In The Mountains, A Trip To The County Fair, Simple Pleasures That Are A Hallmark Of Haruf S Fiction As Are The Things That Jeopardize Them, From The Death Of A Mutual Friend To Family Tensions That Suddenly Test Addie And Louis S Ability To Withstand Them And The Subtle Denouement Then Sweeps Both Of These Amazing People Forward Heartbreakingly, Hearteningly Into The Unknown A tender and touching story..for that phase in life we might face ourselves one day This book could be a little preparation Simple Brilliance

Kent Haruf was born in eastern Colorado He received his Bachelors of Arts in literature from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1965 and his Masters of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1973 For two years, he taught English in Turkey with the Peace Corps and his other jobs have included a chicken farm in Colorado, a construction site in Wyoming, a rehabilitation

[BOOKS] ✰ Our Souls at Night ✺ Kent Haruf – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Our Souls at Night
  • Kent Haruf
  • English
  • 06 January 2019
  • 9781101911921

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