Reviewed by Renée Bosman, Reference Librarian for Government and Public Affairs
Eventide is a quiet, yet memorable, chronicle of life in Holt, a small, rural town in the Colorado plains. Many of the town's residents made their debut in the National Book Award finalist Plainsong, yet Eventide introduces memorable new characters, and is not necessarily a sequel to Haruf's earlier work. This newer novel tells the stories of a disabled couple and their children, a boy living with his grandfather, and others whose lives intersect during the course of the year. The plot unfolds somewhat slowly, but this pace seems natural, perfectly suited to the creeping days of a harsh Colorado autumn and winter. Indeed, the landscape itself — the lonely town isolated in dreary plains — is a palpable force in this novel, and also serves to highlight Haruf's beautiful, yet honest and unassuming prose. "It was a Saturday night," he writes, "the sky overhead clear of any cloud, the stars as clean and bright as if they were no more distant than the next barbed-wire fence post standing up against the barrow ditch running beside the narrow blacktop highway, everything all around him distinct and unhidden. He loved how it all looked, except he never would have said it in that way."
Though tinged with sadness, this story of decent, ordinary people has a redemptive quality that makes the novel strangely uplifting. Try Plainsong first, and I guarantee that you will want to pick up Eventide.