Our Souls at Night reviewed

Word herding

Our Souls at Night is the final novel by American author Kent Haruf, published after his death from cancer in 2014. It’s a gorgeous book, deceptively simple in style, and the work of someone with a clear insight into what matters in life and what does not.

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Haruf’s writing is stripped bare, the resulting book concise and profoundly truthful. The story immediately cuts to the chase – as does 70-year-old widow Addie Moore, a regular, respectable lady in small-town Holt [a fictional Colorado town which was the setting for all of Haruf’s novels]. In the opening pages, she pays a visit to her widower neighbour Louis Waters, who she knows only vaguely. She explains that she finds the loneliness of her empty home too much to bear and proposes an arrangement – that he come to her house and sleep with her at night, strictly to keep one another company:

I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying…

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