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Eventide by Kent Haruf
Eventide is Kent Haruf's sequel to his bestselling Plainsong and continues in its setting of hardscrabble Holt, Colorado. The McPheron brothers, who took in pregnant Victoria when she was 16, now watch her and her baby go off to college. In town, a social worker does everything she can to keep what's left of a family together, despite the parents' lack of intelligence and common sense and a a violent uncle who threatens everything. A mother and her children struggle for survival when her husband doesn't return from Alaska. In a role reversal, a young boy must care for his alcoholic grandfather. The characters in Eventide all deal with the harsh realities of their shared existence, but it's that sense of community and interpersonal connections that helps them through it. Eventide has received glowing reviews for Kent Haruf's subtle and unassuming prose that paints all the nuances of these lives and landscape. The Christian Science Monitor says, "Eventide never swells with climactic tragedy or heartrending triumph. Haruf holds the pace of his narrative to the slow passage of winter on the plains, letting moments of salvation thaw between hard frosts."