Benediction

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2013 - Fiction - 257 pages
14 Reviews
From the beloved and best-selling author of Plainsong and Eventide comes a story of life and death, and the ties that bind, once again set out on the High Plains in Holt, Colorado.

When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife, Mary, must work together to make his final days as comfortable as possible. Their daughter, Lorraine, hastens back from Denver to help look after him; her devotion softens the bitter absence of their estranged son, Frank, but this cannot be willed away and remains a palpable presence for all three of them. Next door, a young girl named Alice moves in with her grandmother and contends with the painful memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. Meanwhile, the town’s newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and teenaged son, a task that proves all the more challenging when he faces the disdain of his congregation after offering more than they are accustomed to getting on a Sunday morning. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

Despite the travails that each of these families faces, together they form bonds strong enough to carry them through the most difficult of times.  Bracing, sad and deeply illuminating, Benediction captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, including its extinction, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way. Here Kent Haruf gives us his most indelible portrait yet of this small town and reveals, with grace and insight, the compassion, the suffering and, above all, the humanity of its inhabitants. 
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
4
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Benediction (Plainsong)

User Review  - David Carr - Goodreads

The fine Australian writer Peter Carey calls Kent Haruf “one of the great poets of the modern novel. He has an extraordinary capacity for love. He will give you the smell of the dirt and grasses of ... Read full review

Review: Benediction (Plainsong)

User Review  - Josh - Goodreads

There's an Americana folk rock band I dig called Frontier Ruckus; they aren't mainstream (google "silverfishes" or "black holes" for a sampling), and they make their points by singing about the normal ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
8
Section 4
24
Section 5
32
Section 6
36
Section 7
40
Section 8
46
Section 20
112
Section 21
121
Section 22
126
Section 23
138
Section 24
146
Section 25
155
Section 26
161
Section 27
166

Section 9
49
Section 10
54
Section 11
58
Section 12
62
Section 13
67
Section 14
77
Section 15
83
Section 16
87
Section 17
92
Section 18
97
Section 19
104
Section 28
175
Section 29
179
Section 30
187
Section 31
195
Section 32
206
Section 33
214
Section 34
219
Section 35
223
Section 36
246
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Writers’ Award, the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award, the Wallace Stegner Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation; he has also been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award.   He lives with his wife, Cathy, in their native Colorado.

Bibliographic information