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Such a lovely, lovely story, bittersweet and joyful at once. Mark Bramhall's narration was perfect—quiet, textural, understated, everything I love in a narrator. His performance reminds me of my all-time favorite narrator, the late Mark Hammer.
I usually love “quiet” stories, but this one irritated me. Maybe if you don’t buy the premise (a widow asks a neighbor to share her bed at night so she has someone to talk to?) then the story feels shallow. It also bothered me that the man she invites keeps considering her good figure, and how moonlight falls on her shoulder, and how her soft skin appeals to him - it feels like he’s on a certain trajectory (sex) and she’s on another (companionship.) I just found the whole thing unbelievable. The writing style is also very clipped - kind of like this: he got up, walked back to his house, ate some cereal, did a crossword, fixed some lunch, and took a nap. Very dry. I don’t need writing to be lush or poetic, but it needs to be more than a list.
I love how the characters in this quiet novel collectively tackle the issue of lonliness in this delightful novel. I found it to be a funny, renosant and inspiring read.
A truly lovely novel about two older people who find each other and quietly fall in love in a small town in Colorado after a lifetime of acquaintance. Kent Haruf is the bard of everyday life and renders simple acts such as preparing supper or toasting marshmallows beautiful with his sparse but moving language. This is a short but touching must read.
Kent Haruf is an amazingly talented author who writes with great empathy for the lives of his characters. He has never disappointed me!! Kristi & Abby Tabby
I read this book in a couple of hours. It is the simple story of Addie and Louis, two long-time neighbors who hardly knew each other but whose empty lives are filled with joy in each other’s company. The plot is uncomplicated and yet is filled with simple truths about love, complicated parent-adult child relationships and loss. The author, however, shows how even in their seventies people can still find friendship and love if they open their hearts. It is also a story of an adult child not accepting his mother’s new-found relationship and withholding his love to manipulate her. A very quick read and an inspiring story.
I love recommending OSAN to anyone looking for a well written love story. It focuses on two people who decide to date, fall in love, and the people that stand in their way. It's a short book that leaves a lasting impression. Beautiful.
Prose. People. An exquisite homage to finding love in life's final chapter.
I read OUR SOULS AT NIGHT as the 6th and final of a Kent Haruf marathon, reading WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED, THE TIE THAT BINDS and The PLAINSONG Trilogy in quick succession. Having insight into the fact that OUR SOULS was Haruf's last novel, written while he dying of lung disease, made it a particularly poignant endeavor.
Haruf's writing style (e.g., lacking certain "normal" punctuation) might be off-putting to some readers, but his eloquent descriptive use of the written word is almost beyond compare.
Read OUR SOULS as the swan-song of a gifted writer who was silenced too soon.
At first I had a hard time understanding the way the author wrote, but as I kept reading it became fluid to me. I loved how he brought out what can happen as we age, how children try and influence their ideas on parents whether good or bad and how parents must abide by the rules in order to have the "family" around them. I loved Louis/Addie/and Jamie and the bond they created along with Bonny. I was a bit surprised by the ending since I was expecting a different outcome, but loved it nonetheless.
This was a delightful story about two septegenarians whose spouses have both passed away. They are lonely and find pleasure in each others company. Together they care for, love and enjoy the 6 year old grandson of one of the couple. I loved that part of the story. Then the son of one of them becomes involved in the relationship. At that point I did not like the story quite so much. It seems so typical of some families where the children control the parents through withdrawal of love if the parent will not comply with the will of the child. I enjoyed the style of the writing and felt as though I knew the couple.
In an attempt to combat their loneliness, widowed neighbours, Addie and Louis, start spending their nights together. They learn more about each other's pasts, families and decisions in life. Together, they help look after Addie's young grandson, while her son deals with unexpected matters back home.
A charming book. It was like hearing someone's life story for the first time; both comforting and sad. While I don't particularly like this style of writing, it was an easy read. The ending felt a bit abrupt to me, but it was also realistic and suited the story.
This can only be the work of a man who has lived quite a bit and gotten over any youthful foolishness. It's about as down to earth as it can get. Some readers will see it as dull, flat, mundane. But colorless it certainly is not. I prefer to call it unadorned; as are Haruf's characters. There is no artifice here. What you see is what you get: ordinary people living their lives in the most honest way possible. No flights of fancy, ornate prose or artistic angst. I was left with no doubt whatsoever that these people are real.
I'm so sorry to discover this writer only now that he has passed. I must track down the rest of his work.
Another moving, tender and sad story about old age, love and family. Simple ideas with gripping style.
Each book is interlinked in smaller or larger extent.
Two elderly neighbors, both widowed, decide to spend their lonely nights together.
A quick and easy to read book about the lovely companionship between two elderly neighbours. It didn't require any thinking on my part which is great as I read in bed, just before falling asleep. T'was short and sweet!
I absolutely loved this book. There is also a movie on Netflix with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. For "us" Baby Boomers, what a beautiful Love Story (especially in the movie with Robert Redford :)). It's a lot of fun.
I didn't feel connected to the widow or widower in this book. I thought they sounded too engineered. I didn't get a good sense of their loneliness. I felt it wasn't as honest or involving as other reviewers. However that being said it probably would make a better film then read especially with those two senior actors who are known to be skilled at their craft and in the past had good chemistry.
A deceptively simple novella set in Holt, CO which is the home to other books by Haruf. The evolving relationship between two aged neighbors is told in conversational form which reads very quickly. I was left rather saddened by this book as it has to go with loss in many forms - missed opportunities, the death of a child, the fail to follow one's dreams.
I was loving this book from the very beginning, telling so many people about it as I read on. Then when I got to the end, my jaw dropped and I said, "WHAT?????!!" What a disappointment!
With all that said, I have read some of this author's other books and I do enjoy his style of writing. Sadly he is no longer with us.
Quick read. Delightful book. I love the writer's minimalistic style. The book reads like a conversation or a movie script.
Netflix released Our Souls at Night featuring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda today (September 29). It has been billed as a 50th anniversary of Barefoot in the Park for 70-something old farts set in rural Colorado rather than NYC.
As I read the book, I could hear the voices of Redford and Fonda in my head. I was so looking forward to the scene where Louis goes to the barber for a haircut and a shave prior to his first night with Addie. Sadly, it didn't make the movie.
The movie takes a few liberties with the book ~ some good ~ some disappointing. I liked the ending of the movie better than the ending of the book, and I highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie. Very sad that this was the author's last book.
jane Fonda and Robert Redford reunite for the first time in almost 40 years in the film version. A romance about neighbours whose spouses have died. Full Kleenex box event!
Lovely book, easy and quick read but very disappointed at the abrupt, sad ending. Did it need to be? I can see this being a terrific book club title as a number of issues can be discussed after reading this book.
I love the quiet understated way this author tells a story. Simply told and always a bit profound. This is a novel driven by character. A look at a relationship that develops between two older lonely people. These characters could be your neighbours. You feel like you know them.