In Benediction, Haruf writes of the precious ordinary.
In this case it's the ordinary life of Dad Lewis, long-time resident of Holt, Colorado, who is now dying of cancer. He has months to live and in those last few months the people who love him gather around him. As the novel unfolds we are introduced to new characters and get glimpses of those we know well from Plainsong and Eventide.
One long last summer for Dad Lewis in his beloved town, Holt, Colorado. As old friends pass in and out of his front door to voice their farewells, their prayers, their good wishes, Dad's wife and daughter work to make his final days as comfortable as possible, knowing all is tainted by the heart-break of an absent son. Next door, a little girl moves in with her grandmother and is drawn into the circle of friendship, her innocence and youth providing promise and hope to all those around her. And down town another new arrival, the Reverend Rob Lyle, attempts to mend strained relationships of his own, as he faces up to his latest congregation.
Set in an imaginative landscape as vivid and powerful as those of Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx, Benediction is a devastating yet affirming novel that explores the pain, the compassion and above all the humanity of ordinary people.
Shortlisted for James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Fiction) 2014 and Folio Prize 2014.
Kent Haruf's honors include a Whiting Foundation Award and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. Plainsong won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in the town of Salida in their native Colorado.