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Our Souls at Night

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  48,982 ratings  ·  7,782 reviews
A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.

In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ag
Hardcover, 179 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Knopf
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Aaron No, the editor did not "sneak" in quotation marks around dialogue. I, too, find the lack quotation of marks to be disconcerting (at best). But I value…moreNo, the editor did not "sneak" in quotation marks around dialogue. I, too, find the lack quotation of marks to be disconcerting (at best). But I value Haruf's writing far too much to let that sway me; instead I'll work with the quirk.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  48,982 ratings  ·  7,782 reviews

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Julie Christine
Kent Haruf wrote Our Souls at Night under a death sentence. Despite knowing his life was coming to a sooner end than it should, or perhaps because of this, he created a story about finding love in the final chapter. Our Souls at Night is simply, profoundly, an exquisite homage to love. And it broke my heart. Because, the story. Because, there will be no more.

I read Our Souls at Night in one sitting and wept in the final pages. Even now, thinking of endings, of the ending of this book, the endin
Will Byrnes
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
And then there was the day when Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters.
Louis and Addie are both getting on, in their 70s, Louis having lost his wife a year back, Addie a widow for some time. Both are lonely and could do with some company. While they have known each other for a long time, they have never been close. Acquaintances more than friends. Until Addie suggests that it would be a great help, given her trouble sleeping, if Louis would consent to sleep with her, not hide-the-salami sleep
Ron Charles
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-favorites
Readers took their time finding Kent Haruf, but he was a patient man who didn’t care much for the trappings of fame anyhow. His popularity swelled quickly, though, when he published his third novel, “Plainsong,” in 1999 at the age of 56. The book was a bestseller for months and a finalist for the National Book Award, which meant he had to dress up for the ceremony in New York and wear a medal on a ribbon around his neck and feel genuinely uncomfortable. Afterward, he told the New York Times, “We ...more
Angela M
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There are a few contemporary writers who will make a lasting mark and Kent Haruf is most certainly one of them . His quiet stories in their simplicity are meaningful , thoughtful stories reflecting the complexity of the human condition.

In his final novel , published posthumously, Haruf has given us another gift . I fell in love with this book from page one , the first sentence and then the perfect description of Cedar Street in Holt , Colorado the place where all his books take place . I fell i
Only a few people can say they attended their grand-mother’s wedding. I am one of them. My Grannie was a widow for 15 years, met Gramps at a church outing and they married about 2 months after Grannie’s 70th birthday. Grannie was a joy in our lives – lots of stories, songs, and best of all for me, a wonderful correspondent. She was my most faithful pen pal for years. Gramps was about a year and half younger than Grannie and she would tease us about her marrying a ‘younger man’.

Gramps was a gentl
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cheri by: Will Byrnes
Growing up, the earliest years of my childhood, my paternal grandparents lived close by, my father was a pilot and was frequently gone for days, and I spent many days in my grandparent’s tiny caretaker apartment. I would follow my grandfather around while he polished the pews of the church, spruced up the grounds, sat by his side and “helped” him write his poetry, or just “sit a spell and ponder’ with him. With my grandmother I’d help piece her quilts together, or help her in their tiny kitchen ...more
Glenn Sumi
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You’d have to be stone-hearted not to respond to this beautiful little novel about late-in-life love and companionship.

In a small Colorado town, widowed neighbours Addie Moore and Louis Waters, who've known each other for decades, agree to share their nights together rather than sleep alone. This arrangement doesn’t involve sex, although gossiping neighbours assume it does; it’s more about sleeping in the same bed, talking, revealing stuff they don’t tell anyone else.

This is how Addie explains
Jennifer Masterson
This is an absolutely beautiful story of two people who give comfort to each late in life. I laughed and I cried! I just loved this novel! It is so well written and so lovely!

Louis and Addy are living in Holt, Colorado. They've known each other for many many years. One day 70 year old Addy approaches Louis and asks him if he will come stay with her at night to sleep with her. This is not a sexual thing. Addy is having trouble sleeping. Louis ends up going along with this.

I loved the stories tha
Bill  Kerwin
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction

This novella by the author of Plainsong (1999) may be short, but it is large enough to contain two “souls” and enough of the small town of Holt, Colorado to bring it vividly to life.

The story is a simple one. One evening Addie Moore, a widow of seventy, makes a visit to widower Louis Walters—a longtime neighbor, but not someone she knows well—and makes him a “kind of proposal”: “I wonder if you would come and sleep in the night with me and talk.” It’s not about sex, she adds—she thinks she lost
Elyse Walters
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tender and touching story .....for that phase in life we might face ourselves one day.

This book could be a little preparation.

Simple Brilliance!

Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Haruf è scomparso ormai da circa tre anni e mezzo, eppure io lettore sono stato invitato di nuovo alla sua tavola di scrittore.
L’antipasto è stato raffinato e saporito: l’incipit conquista e trascina, è ghiotto.
Ma poco dopo ho capito che la cura della tavola e delle sue decorazioni superava la qualità delle pietanze, via via rovinate da incompletezza ed eccesso di zucchero: quest’ultimo inaspettato Haruf è più carino, e gentile, che profondo e penetrante.

Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As you’d expect from an author who knows he is dying this is a tremendously wise novel about the pursuit of everyday happiness and all the petty and ingrained obstructions such a pursuit can meet when it’s unconventional. Some of the things he did really well – showed us how much responsibility we have as parents but also how many handicaps, because it’s virtually impossible to escape from stifling generational patterns of behaviour; showed us how similar a censorious view of unconventional rela ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haruf’s writing is like a soft breeze on a warm summer day. A simple yet superb story where 2 people - Adie and Louis - find each other in their twilight years and share their life’s passions, regrets, sorrows and desires nightly. Beautiful and bittersweet as it is Haruf's last novel, but what a message he delivers. 5 ★
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
"I do love this physical world. I love this physical life with you. And the air and the country. The backyard, the gravel in the back alley. The grass. The cool nights. Lying in bed talking with you in the dark."

These simple yet sublime words expressed between two lonely souls managed to evoke such a feeling of peace in me. Addie and Louis, both widowed for some time, wish only to spend the remainder of their lives in companionship and quiet pleasure. What more can we really ask for in this life
Norma * Traveling Sister
Well I guess we should have done this little gem of a book as a "sister read" as my thoughts are very similar to that of Brenda's!

I listened to the audio version of OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by KENT HARUF and the narrator was absolutely wonderful! His voice was so gentle and soothing!

I don't think I can say anymore or anything better than let's just call it a "sister read".


Our Souls at Night is a simple, graceful and tender story of elderly Louis and Addie who whil
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Stop for a moment and take stock of the simple things in life. Talking with someone who is truly listening. Holding hands and not talking at all. Warmth and companionship. This quiet, unassuming story will make you consider the value of such things. Gold.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A dose of harsh reality
Shelves: read-in-2018
I devoured this short novella in one sitting and my feelings made an acute arch from start to end. The excitement of meeting again the familiar, direct but warm style of Haruf’s unpretentious writing sent me soaring cloud high at first, but as the story of Addie and Louis evolved and those closer to them, those who should have shown more empathy and understanding for their situation, betrayed them for incomprehensible reasons, I became impatient and somewhat infuriated by the sheer levity with w ...more

We're still talking. For as long as we can. For as long as it lasts.

To paraphrase, Marshall McLuhan, to what extent is the medium the message?

Before I read this, and for most of the time I was reading it, I thought it was about the visceral human need for communication and company. And it is. But as I approached the end, I realised it was at least as much about how the emotional impact and engagement of conversations are affected by the medium used.

Situation (not Plot)

Addie (70) and Louis (sim
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. This book and I just aren’t a good fit. Books keep teaching me things about what I like and don’t like. This book taught me I just don't do quiet, simplistic, low-key. I guess I'm just a drama queen, liking my stories over the top. And I apparently don't like small town settings. Give me city, give me nuts! I like complicated over simplistic, no doubt because I make everything way too complicated :)

I had a problem with the premise: I had trouble believing anyone would invite a stranger
Simra S
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
"We're still talking. For as long as we can. For as long as it lasts."

Ever read a book that felt like a warm hug? This book is exactly that. Tender, calm, comforting and it will hit you in all the right places. A book like Our Souls at Night may not offer a groundbreaking plot but this bittersweet novella will leave you with a sense of tranquility and calmness. Addie Moore and Louis Waters are neighbours, in their 70s, living in Haruf's fictional town called Holt. They are both widowed and mere
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
What a lovely little book!

Simply put, this book is about two people of advancing age who are lonely, and make the decision to develop a bond and provide each other with comfort to get through the nights alone. Louis spends the night at Addie's home, and in doing so they grow to be close and dependent upon one another for emotional strength.

Both are widowed, and live in the same small town of Holt, CO. This is important because part of the book deals with nosy busybodies who can't mind their own
Diane S ☔
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first review from the ICU,
It even rhymes.

Once again, or rather for the last time, we return to Holt, in another simply told narrative, featuring ordinary people that are doing something less than ordinary. This is always where Haruf's talents were so admirably displayed. He took the ordinary, the common and made poignant, readable stories.

Adele and Lewis, lived in the same town, the same neighborhood for most of their married lives. At the age of seventy both have now lost their spouses. Bu
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading a review from a Goodreads friend who found Our Souls At Night the perfect first audiobook for her. I decided to listen to the audiobook myself. It's not my first but it was a perfect one for me and an excellent choice to listen too.

Our Souls at Night is a simple, graceful and tender story of elderly Louis and Addie who while seeking companionship share a touching relationship, quietly at night, sharing their stories of their past, happiness, missed opportunity, mistakes and grief.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

With Our Souls at Night, Haruf proves that simple isn’t the opposite of deep. This straightforward story tells of two folks in their seventies who decide they’re not going to succumb to loneliness because of social mandates. Haruf’s writing is the antithesis of flowery. It’s direct, but it’s still moving. I loved Addie from the first sentence of the novel. And Louis, too. They’re folks who admit the mistakes they’ve made. “I believe there are failures of character, like I said before. That’s a s
I did not want to say goodbye to one of America's greatest authors. By reading this book, I knew I would have to do it. So I postponed and postponed. And postponed.

But today was the day and I closed this book weeping. Kent Haruf wrote his final book - a short one, taking his readers with him through the ending of time, and his last capture of friendship and companionship between two elderly people who tried for one last time to enjoy the love they never had and face the loneliness that claimed
This is another book I would probably not have heard about without GoodReads. It was discussed last year by the 21st Century Literature group before it was readily available in the UK. The glowing recommendations from friends in the group stayed with me, and I was a little apprehensive that it would not match my raised expectations. Such concerns were needless.

The novel is a perfectly judged, beautiful, poignant study of two widowed old people in a small town in the mid-West, who are brought tog
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, heart-breaking story. Loved every minute of it.

The audio narration is just wonderful. Sad that is it over and just wish I could start again, not knowing the story and hearing it again fresh for the first time. There is something so special about a basic, simple story.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-audible
Mr. Haruf, I will miss you. Thank you for this final gift. Your bittersweet little novella touched my soul.
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I absolutely loved the two main characters, Addie and Louis!

This novel melted my heart! I couldn’t help but smile while reading the conversations and interactions between Addie and Louis, both widows living alone in their senior years. What a unique arrangement they created which aided both of them in combating nighttime loneliness that shadowed over both of their lives. I found it so refreshing to watch them find unashamed comfort in each other.

The lack of quotation marks took me a l
Oct 28, 2015 added it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook - The first sentence “And then there was the day Addie Moore made a call on Louis Waters.” If my head hasn’t been in the sand, by this I mean read any review or publisher’s promotions, I know why Addie comes knocking on Louis’ door. What I want to know is how her proposition works out.

The Line – “Who does ever get what they want?

The Sinker – This is one of the books that defy the star rating for me. I just don’t know how I feel. When I finished Our Souls At Night three days ago I was a
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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
“Who does ever get what they want? It doesn’t seem to happen to many of us if any at all. It’s always two people bumping against each other blindly, acting out old ideas and dreams and mistaken understandings.” 51 likes
“I do love this physical world. I love this physical life with you. And the air and the country. The backyard, the gravel in the back alley. The grass. The cool nights. Lying in bed talking with you in the dark.” 27 likes
More quotes…