Eventide

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Eventide

by Kent Haruf

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | May 3, 2005 | Trade Paperback

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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 disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 3.15 × 2.04 × 0.26 in

Published: May 3, 2005

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375725768

ISBN - 13: 9780375725760

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– More About This Product –

Eventide

by Kent Haruf

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 3.15 × 2.04 × 0.26 in

Published: May 3, 2005

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0375725768

ISBN - 13: 9780375725760

About the Book

A long, hard winter takes its toll on the high plains community of Holt, Colorado in this engrossing, profoundly moving novel rich in wisdom and humanity.

Read from the Book

They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early morning. The McPheron brothers, Harold and Raymond. Old men approaching an old house at the end of summer. They came on across the gravel drive past the pickup and the car parked at the hogwire fencing and came one after the other through the wire gate. At the porch they scraped their boots on the saw blade sunken in the dirt, the ground packed and shiny around it from long use and mixed with barnlot manure, and walked up the plank steps onto the screened porch and entered the kitchen where the nineteen-year-old girl Victoria Roubideaux sat at the pinewood table feeding oatmeal to her little daughter. In the kitchen they removed their hats and hung them on pegs set into a board next to the door and began at once to wash up at the sink. Their faces were red and weather-blasted below their white foreheads, the coarse hair on their round heads grown iron-gray and as stiff as the roached mane of a horse. When they finished at the sink they each in turn used the kitchen towel to dry off, but when they began to dish up their plates at the stove the girl made them sit down. There''s no use in you waiting on us, Raymond said. I want to, she said. I''ll be gone tomorrow. She rose with the child on her hip and brought two coffee cups and two bowls of oatmeal and a plate of buttered toast to the table and then sat down again. Harold sat eyeing the oatmeal. You think she might of at least give us steak and eggs this once, he
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From the Publisher

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 disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.

From the Jacket

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 disabled couple tries to protect their a violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide" unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.

About the Author

Kent Haruf's honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His novel 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 his native Colorado.

Editorial Reviews

: “Possesses the haunting appeal of music, the folksy rhythms of an American ballad and the lovely, measured grace of an old hymn.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "A kind book in a cruel world. . . [with] honest impulses, real people and the occasional workings of grace." – Christopher Tilghman, The Washington Post “An extraordinary vision. . . . Who in America can still write like this? Who else has such confidence and such humility?" –Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor “Haruf’s storytelling at its best.” Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly “Stunning. . . . The dry, cold air of Colorado''s high plains seems to intensify the light Kent Haruf shines on every character in his masterful novel. . . . A book of hope, hope as plain and hard-won as Haruf''s keenly styled prose.” –Mark Doty, O, The Oprah Magazine "Writing in a style reminiscent of Hemingway, Haruf has a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. . . . Eventide is a spare, delicate and beautiful book. Haruf has created another poignant meditation on the true meaning of family." – The Oregonian “A clear distillation of the writer''s craft, [ Eventide is] a book that grabs you by the heart on the first page, refusing to release its grasp until the last." – The Denver Post "Highly charged and compassionate. . . . Every action in Holt casts a long shadow, and the gist of Haruf''s story is what
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Bookclub Guide

US

1. Two elderly bachelors living on an isolated ranch in eastern Colorado-not what one would immediately consider an exciting premise for a work of fiction. How does Kent Haruf transform the mundane materials of his characters and setting into such an emotionally compelling story?

2. If you have read Plainsong, in what ways does Eventide deepen readers' relationships with those characters who also inhabit Haruf's previous novel? How are the two novels alike? In what ways are they significantly different?

3. What kind of men are Harold and Raymond McPheron? What are their most distinctive and appealing characteristics? What makes them so likable?

4. Why does Haruf interweave, in alternating chapters, the stories of the McPheron brothers and Victoria Roubideaux, Luther and Betty Wallace and Rose Tyler, Hoyt Raines, DJ Kephart and his grandfather, and Mary Wells and her daughters? How are their lives interconnected? In what ways do they represent a wide spectrum of American society?

5. When Tom Guthrie and his sons finish separating the cows and their calves, Ike Guthrie says, "They make an awful lot of noise. . . . They don't seem to like it much." To which Tom replies, "They never do like it. . . . I can't imagine anything or anybody that would like it. But
every living thing in this world gets weaned eventually" [p. 155]. How does this statement illuminate the central themes of Eventide? In what ways is the novel about the pain of separation, of getting "weaned"?

6. Haruf's writing, like the speech of the characters he writes about, is restrained, as when Raymond calls Victoria to tell her of Harold's death:

Honey, I got something to tell you.
Oh, no, she said. Oh no. No.
I'm just afraid I do, he said. And then he told her [p. 80].

Why does Haruf end the conversation there? Why is it more moving to let the reader imagine the rest of the conversation than to describe it more completely? Where else in the novel does Haruf show this kind of reserve?

7. When Del Gutierrez tells Raymond that he can't see how just one man can run the ranch-"It seems like too much for one person to do"-Raymond responds, "What else you going to do?" [p. 233]. How does this response typify Raymond's attitude about life and his own predicament?

8. When Raymond worries that they might have to wait until seven-thirty to have dinner, Rose says, "You wouldn't do very well in New York or Paris, would you," and Raymond replies: "I wouldn't even do very good in Fort Morgan" [p. 255]. Why wouldn't Raymond do well in a big city? In what ways is he suited to, and a product of, the rural life of the high plains?

9. Why has Haruf included a character like Hoyt Raines in the novel? What does he add to the emotional texture of the book?

10. Parent-child relationships are important in Eventide. What kinds of behavior does the novel dramatize between parents (or grandparents or surrogate parents) and children? How are children seen and treated by their elders in the book? What are the best and worst examples of parent-child relationships in Eventide?

11. Near the end of the novel, Luther and Betty Wallace's children are placed in a foster home. Why does the court make this decision? Is it the right one? Does Haruf intend for readers to regard Luther and Betty critically, sympathetically, or with some mixture of feelings?

12. Why is the budding romance between Rose and Raymond so appealing? Why must Raymond be tricked into meeting her? Why are they so drawn to each other?

13. Eventide ends with Raymond and Rose sitting together quietly, "the old man with his arm around this kind woman, waiting for what would come" [p. 300]. Why is this a satisfying way to end the novel? What is likely to come for them? Literary works often imply, if only implicitly, a set of values to live by. What attitudes and values does Eventide seem to hold up for emulation?

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