Kent Haruf's (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel Remembered

The Wall Street Journal’s Encore section on Monday, November 30, 2015, had a collection of recommended books for “The Good Life”. These were the top picks of 2015, a selection of great reads that “cover health, humor, travel and more” written by Diane Cole. She writes: If there is a recipe for aging well, it must involve the mind, the body, the spirit–and the funny bone. You’ll find myriad suggestions for how to do just that in this year’s best books for the territory ahead.haruf

On her list of six books is Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67). Cole writes: Kent Haruf’s spare and elegant novel, Our Souls at Night, was one of the best of the year for any age–but men and women entering new life phases will particularly savor the game courage and dry wit with which its two main characters take an unlikely bet on happiness and stubbornly follow through.

The plot of the book is that a woman neighbor, Addie, 70 years old and windowed, invites her neighbor Louis, a widower of the same age, to spend the night with her–not for sex, at least initially, but for conversation and companionship to help them through the lonely hours. Their bedtime chats soon develop into something more as they invent a new kind of family life for themselves, disregarding the gossips in their small Colorado town. As Diane Cole sums up, “its a haunting and enchanting tale.”

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