Eventide (Plainsong, #2)
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Eventide (Plainsong)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  7,486 ratings  ·  651 reviews
Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disab...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Vintage (first published May 4th 2004)
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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...more
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...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.
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
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.
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
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...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
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...more
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
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...more
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
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...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...more
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...more
Have I mentioned I love this author?

I did something with this book that I used to do as a kid, and rarely feel the call to do as an adult: I put it down, consciously, very often so that I wouldn't finish it too soon. I could have gobbled it up in probably 4 hours reading; it's not a difficult read in terms of language or plot. But I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it out over 10 days.

This is a sequel to Plainsong. We find Raymond and Harold McPheron preparing to take Victoria off to college in Fort Collins...more
"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...more
I first read Plainsong, then read this immediately after. I LOVE this man's writing. His prose is so clear and uncluttered, but also very expressive. His books take place in a small farming town in Eastern Colorado, and the lives of the main characters intersect in much the way the lives of people living in small towns will do - sometimes they intersect in big ways; usually they intersect in day to day interactions.

His books are written in what is one of my favorite styles - he "drops in" on peo...more
Where Kent Haruf's Plainsong warms your heart, its successor, Eventide, will warm and break it in equal measure. With many of the same characters and some new ones, the book both continues where the story left off, and picks up new lives and threads. A disabled couple struggle to care for their two children, while a caring social worker struggles to help them improve their situation. A quiet boy and a talkative girl, neither of them quite getting what they ought to at home, find each other and a...more
Jan Polep
Well, not so blown away by this sequel to "Plainsong", in part because it is incredibly sad in parts, no resolution of some of the family problems, and not as much pulling together as a caring community in this one. The MacPherson brothers are front and center in this one and are 2 of my favorite characters EVER! Story is again set in hardscrabble Holt, CO, with people searching for affection and a sense of family in all the wrong and right places. The family situations are sometimes so dire tha...more
Mij Woodward
Such a quiet meaningful read. Fell in love with most of the characters, as I had with those in Plainsong, which Eventide continues with their storylines.

I love the strength shone in some of these characters, their courage, fortitude, acceptance of life, their willingness to just carry on, putting one foot in front of the other.

In many ways, Eventide is about children, how sad circumstances can wreak such havoc in their lives, that are either resolved or not resolved.

Eventide is about making fami...more
I'm torn on rating this book. Overall, it's worth 3 stars. It's good, but not as good as Plainsong. Would I recommend reading EVentide after finishing Plainsong? Yes, For the continuation of the story with the McPharon brothers, Victoria and her baby, Tom Gurhrie and his sons Bobby and Ike, and Maggie Jones. The new characters who are introduced and their storyline, for the most part, are like side dishes I could do without.
There is something that happens to one of the main characters from Plai...more
I must first say that I did not read Plainsong and while Eventide is completely readable as a stand-alone I think some of the characters would have been more endearing with the back story complete.

There was nothing wrong with this book. It flowed nicely, the writing was fine but the story did not really grab me. Some of the characters I did not really understand so was left feeling a bit flat. It was an easy read and I did not feel that I wasted my time reading this but it is also not a book tha...more
Ahhhh... the last (and first) time I read Kent Haruf, he took my breath away. Plainsong, Haruf's first book about Holt, Colorado, was a stunning work of fiction with beautiful characters deeply of and from the rural west, and gorgeous sentences that both capture the cadence and content of rural speech, and also render descriptions with grace and beauty. Eventide takes up where Plainsong leaves off and does not disappoint. Haruf knows rural people and places, and more importantly, knows his way a...more
I read Plainsong about a decade ago and it has stayed with me ever since, though many of the details have faded into memory. "Eventide" is a worthy sequel, and almost as good.

Once again I was struck with how Haruf's simple writing style matches the drab life on the plains which he depicts. Dialogue does not even have quotation marks, which somehow seems appropriate. The needs of the people in Holt, Colorado, are perhaps less complex than one would find in urban centers. There is no rush, no neur...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...more
Faced with so many mixed metaphors, a novel purportedly about encroaching darkness 'abide with me; fast falls the eventide', that commences with 'the slanted light of early morning' as two old men approach 'an old house at the end of summer, presents us with the overwhelming sense of style over substance. The plot of the novel is highly contrived with irrelevant interactions between the four or five ongoing sub-plots, at some points cringingly so and some distance away from Waterstone's Books Qu...more
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?
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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
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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.” 9 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.” 4 likes
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