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Eventide (Plainsong #2)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  10,188 ratings  ·  881 reviews
When the McPheron brothers see Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they'd taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before them - and for many other townspeople it also promises to be a long, hard winter. A young boy living alone with his grandfather helps out a neighbor whose husband, off in Alaska, suddenly isn't coming home, leaving her to ...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Books on Tape, Incorporated
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Harold and Raymond McPlieron with their foster daughter, Victoria Robideaux and her little baby daughter continues life on the cattle ranch near the rural town, Holt, in Colorado.

As life is slowly pacing along on the tracks of history, new people enter their lives, and old ones leave. The rich colors of rural life, in both culture and language spread out in this book like the autumn leaves in a forest of humanity. There is heartbreak and happiness; the good and the bad, and a story line to tie i
4.5 stars

Once again Kent Haruf has taken me back to the comfort of home with his writing. He is subtle, slowly capturing the reader to care about his characters. These are people I recognize, and feel comfortable matter how long I have been away. The second in his trilogy, Eventide is a bit more coarse, not quiet as feel good as Plainsong. Each of these characters are facing difficult things in their lives...and for some of them it is coming at a very young age. There is sorrow in most
Mar 14, 2013 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Debby
Reading this book was a bittersweet experience. It is a continuation of Haruf's earlier, Plainsong ,which has updated some of the previous characters and introduced others. It is easy to become immersed in the lives of the people of this community of Holt,Colorado.Life for them is simple, yet difficult, with harsh climate and ceaseless toil for many of them. Haruf has the facility to expose the raw emotions, or the guileless behaviors of most of his characters.

I found particularly endearing,two
What this book imparts is a quintessential view of American agrarian working class people. It is set in Colorado and speaks of small town life, I would guess in the 1970s or 80s. (One family has a microwave.) It is not plot oriented, so if you want lots to happen, look elsewhere. The picture it draws is astoundingly perceptive. The characters have very ordinary lives, but it is the perfection with which they are drawn that is so fantastic.

I cannot think of another book that delivers such astoun
Bobby Simic
With certain books, sequels aren't necessary, and in some instances they're downright unwelcome. I wouldn't put Eventide, the sequel to the splendid Plainsong, into the latter category, but this follow-up might be hard for some to accept. We had left so many of the pained but quietly noble characters in a good spot in life. You wanted to keep them there, like in a snowglobe, because they deserved their moment of undisturbed happiness. But I suppose life isn't like that, and bad times crop up no ...more
Will Byrnes
Eventide continues Haruf’s depiction of Holt, Colorado, begun in Plainsong, of a small town with a wide range of humanity. Like Plainsong, Eventide is a beautiful work with moving characters captivating imagery and a clear view of humanity at its core. It made me cry both for struggles of its characters and the clarity of its writing. Familiar characters from Plainsong, Tom Guthrie, Maggie Jones, Harold and Raymond McPheron and Victoria Robideaux are joined by a new roster of characters, young a ...more
I've enjoyed and admired all of Kent Haruf's novels for their spare, gritty lyricism. He treats both his characters and the rural, weathered landscape of Colorado with sympathy and respect, showing how the lives of small-town, seemingly ordinary people are lit with a quiet resonance.
A couple of months ago I read — and fell in love with — Kent Haruf's Plainsong, the first in a loose trilogy of novels set in Holt, Colorado. I loved the story so much that I raced through it in a matter of days and then felt completely bereft, because I wanted to spend more time with those wonderful characters.

Which is why reading Eventide, the second in the series, was so enjoyable: from the moment I opened the first page it was like being reacquainted with old friends.

Along with the evocativ
Haruf is a good writer, but the lives of his characters are depressing. They say that when you play a country music song backwards, you get your wife back, your dog back and you're not flat broke. You can say the same thing about a Haruf novel.

It is an improvement over Plainsong. The situations and the relationships between characters are more plausible than in Plainsong. But I'm still not buying some aspects of the novel.
I love Haruf's writing and am amazed by his ability to evoke powerful emotion with simple language and laser-sharp attention to the most mundane details.
This is the second book in Kent Haruf's chronicle of small-town Colorado life (Plainsong, Eventide, Benediction), and it's a good one, particularly if character driven, small-moment, poignant but not very exciting plots are your thing. The main focus continues to be on the McPheron brothers and the young woman and baby who they've taken care of, but there are several other families whose lives are followed, too. The overriding mood/atmosphere is mostly one of quiet desperation and sadness, but t ...more
Oh what a wonderful slice of life Kent Haruf has created within his Plainsong town of Holt. Easy read about common people. Rare, rare to find this kind of tale within a language of such clear and non-jaded eyes. Highly recommend.

Honestly, I liked Plainsong just a bit more, but this was almost as excellent. To me, it lost just a bit in the simplistic attitude and to me, rather flat telling of Rose's actions and reactions. Her "down" at the end? In her job you become far, far more hardened than t
I found this book to be as powerful if not more so than PlainSong. The straightforward, but detailed descriptive language in this book made me feel like I was watching a play. One thing that draws me to this series is my own rural upbringing. Although I did not have any experiences as desperate as in these two books, I suspect I knew people who did. Haruf's descriptions of the tavern, the fireman's ball, the cafe all seemed very true to small town life and may be accurate yet today. He creates s ...more
3.5 stars

This is a continuation of Plainsong, set in a small town in Colorado. One storyline stood out for me in Plainsong, and it was continued in Eventide. Victoria, the pregnant girl taken in by brothers Raymond and Harold, has now had her little girl and she's two years old. Victoria has decided it's time for her to go away to school. In addition to this storyline, there are a couple of others in Eventide.

I listened to the audio, and it was fine, but not enough for my mind not to wander a
"Eventide" followed up many of the characters in "Plainsong," who live in the fictitious eastern Colorado ranchland town of Holt. The central plot followed the McPheron brothers and the teen mother Victoria whom they welcomed into their home, plus now her toddler Katie. Another family was introduced in this novel-- the Wallaces who live in a trailer in a shabbier part of town, with their two children. They require the services of Rose Tyler, social worker, and are in extreme peril of losing thei ...more
Wow. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but I've been suddenly swept up into a literary vortex of greatness. Oh, wait, I know what I've done. I've read about 300 crappy books in my lifetime and my karma finally came back and whispered, "good books come to those who wait."

Do you love John Steinbeck? Carson McCullers? How about Larry McMurtry? If you love any ONE of these writers, this will probably be a solid 4-star read for you. If you are like me and you love all 3 of them, well, inform y
With spare, elegant prose and a minimum of description, Kent Haruf gives us a portrait of a Plains ranching community. As sheer Americana it is a masterpiece, but it is more than that. It is both very specific as to setting and character and universal in what it has to say about the human condition. The characters are ordinary folk, richly imagined. Terrible things happen to them, as they do to all of us in the course of a lifetime, but somehow there is a kindness and decency in how most of the ...more
3.5 stars. Good continuation of life in Holt Colorado. While I did enjoy this story, I didn't love it like PLAINSONG. I confess, however, I am addicted to the characters and I miss them already. So happy there is one more book following this community.
Another satisfying read by Haruf, Eventide carries on the themes, setting, and characters found in Plainsong. Compelling for its narratives about three sets of children, each vulnerable due to their parents' failures. Set in the spring and mostly in the city, this novel is not as evocative in its eastern Colorado setting as Plainsong, with its emphasis on ranch life in winter. In Plainsong, personal charity and kindhearted neighborliness aid a child in trouble and a new family is created. In Eve ...more
Michael Twist
Kent Haruf handily met the challenge of following up his brilliant novel PLAINSONG with this richly deserving sequel. Wow. I am so envious of his ability to utilize common words to string sentences like popcorn around an old fashioned Christmas tree. Like popcorn, the single word is largely unimpressive, but the cumulative effect is awe-inspiring. EVENTIDE manages to fulfill hopes and expectations as it reacquaints us with a few old friends, while leaving behind a few of our favorites from Plain ...more
I think I liked this more than Plainsong (#1) only because I am more familiar with Haruf's writing style, and I got to read more about the characters I started to fall in love with (McPheron brothers). There are some new characters, but everyone's story intersects with one another in some way. It causes me to really feel the small town nature of Holt.

If you are a social worker, you may not want to read this book. It would not be much of an escape from your day job.
Lynne Spreen
I sat down with Eventide yesterday, read 3/4 of it before my eyes started burning from overuse. Went to bed, thought about it all day. Finally had time to get back to it and savored the last 1/4, rereading the ending 3 times.

Eventide, the sequel to Plainsong, is compelling, like everything Haruf writes. In this novel, he captures with simple, clean writing the full range of human behavior, from beautiful to ugly, but the novel is not dark and he does not leave the reader unhappy. Far from it. At
I haven't read Plainsong, and having read Eventide, I look forward to doing so. Haruf's novel is character driven, and the setting might have easily been a character. Set in rural Holt, Colorodo, Haruf introduces the reader to memorable characters whose lives are connected and intertwined. The McPherson brothers, Raymond and Harold, are ranchers who have never been married and who have taken in Victoria Roubidieaux, a young single mother, and her little girl. Luther and Betty, a mentally disable ...more
Colleen Clark
Kent Haruf was (died 2014) a writer with a magical touch of making very plain and straightforward stories about ordinary residents of the fictional town Holt, Colorado into quiet prose poetry.

Holt is out on the plains of eastern Colorado, which hardly exists in the imagination of most of us, who think of mountains, but is about a third of the area.

The bachelor McPherhon brothers take in a pregnant high school student and then see her off to Colorado State University, but they form a continuing f
I was glad to start reading Eventide. I read Plainsong many years ago and really liked it. Kent Haruf can tell a wonderful story with very few words. I just noticed that Mr. Haruf died on Nov 30, the same day I started reading this book. I am sad he won't be able to tell us any more of his stories. I would highly recommend this author.
Ann Douglas
Another fabulous, character-rich novel by Kent Haruf. Having read -- and loved -- the other two books in this series, I am left with one over-riding question: why isn't everyone reading this author?
I've been saving Eventide, the second book in Kent Haruf's trilogy, because the first, Plainsong, was just so brilliant that I didn't want the series to be over too soon! In Eventide, we return to the same town of Holt, Colorado, and a few of the same people - Victoria is still with the McPheron brothers - and we meet other residents including special needs couple Luther and Betty who, mentally, are barely more than children themselves yet have children of their own too. There are amazing moment ...more
What a gorgeously written book this. Years ago I read the earlier one, Plainsong, and remember I enjoyed it a lot. This one is just beautiful, too. The lives of Raymond, Harold, Rose, DJ, Luther and Betty are drawn so lovingly and with such breathtaking truth and simplicity. Even Betty's sinister uncle, a bad actor if ever there was one, is beautifully rendered, though his horrendous impact on the lives of the others in his family impacted by his actions is sad and deeply affecting.

I found myse
Now that I have read Eventide, the second book by Kent Haruf that tells the story of the quiet upstanding McPheron brothers, I would probably give the first book, Plainsong, 5 stars. (And Eventide 4.)

I still found so pleasing Haruf's gentle exploration of characters who (and relationships that) seem, for the most part, wonderfully complex, believable, and flawed.

However, while Plainsong seemed somehow understated, and so the change in the life of the brothers seemed both moving and momentous, E
I think I liked this even more than Plainsong. It continues on maybe a year or so after Plainsong and carries on with some of the characters from Plainsong, but introduces some new ones too.

I still really like Haruf's style of writing. He just presents you with the facts and it's up to you how you feel about them. Even the characters are just presented as is. There's no inner monologues or explanations for why they're the way they are, it's up to the reader to interpret them in their own way, b
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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 ...more
More about Kent Haruf...

Other Books in the Series

Plainsong (3 books)
  • Plainsong (Plainsong, #1)
  • Benediction (Plainsong, #3)

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“He wanted to think of words that would make some difference but there were none in any language he knew that were sufficient to the moment or that would change a single thing.” 23 likes
“And they had folded his brother's hands across his suited chest, as if he would be preserved in this sanguine pose forever, but only the heavy callouses visible at the sides of his hands seemed real. It was only the callouses that appeared to be familiar and believable.” 5 likes
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