Cover image for Eventide
Haruf, Kent.
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Publication Information:
New York : Random House Audio, 2004.
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7 audio discs (approximately 8.5 hours) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
In a small town where people encounter each other frequently, destinies entwine easily--and surprisingly. The McPherson brothers see the single mother they'd taken in move away to college; a young boy living alone with his grandfather helps a neighbor whose husband has left her alone to raise their daughters; a child of a disabled couple suffers indignities at school.... A novel about survival, resilience, and, ultimately, hope's triumph over despair.
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Compact discs.
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Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.5 13.0 81417.
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Audiobook on CD


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XX(1267483.24) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
XX(1267483.21) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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One of the most beloved novels in recent years,Plainsongwas a best-seller from coast to coast--and now Kent Haruf returns to the High Plains community of Holt, Colorado, with a story of even more masterful authority. When the McPheron brothers see Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they'd taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before them--and for many other townspeople it also promises to be a long, hard winter. A young boy living alone with his grandfather helps out a neighbor whose husband, off in Alaska, suddenly isn't coming home, leaving her to raise their two daughters. At school the children of a disabled couple suffer indignities that their parents know all too well in their own lives, with only a social worker to look after them and a violent relative to endanger them further. But in a small town a great many people encounter one another frequently, often surprisingly, and destinies soon become entwined--for good and for ill--as they confront events that sorely test the limits of their resilience and means, with no refuge available except what their own character and that of others afford them. Spring eventually does reach across the land, and how the people ofEventideget there makes for an engrossing, profoundly moving novel rich in the wisdom, humor, and humanity for which Kent Haruf is justly acclaimed. From the Hardcover edition.


In the small town of Eventide, several seemingly unconnected people begin to cross paths over the course of a winter, leaving lasting consequences for all parties involved. Two brothers are content when a single mother, whom they had previously taken in, moves away to college, while a young boy and his disabled grandfather care for an abandoned mother of two. Meanwhile, a disabled couple, under the scrutiny of a disgruntled social worker, struggles to maintain custody of their children.

Author Notes

Kent Haruf was born in Pueblo, Colorado on February 24, 1943. He received a BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1965 and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1973. His first novel, The Tie That Binds, was published in 1984 and won a Whiting Writers' Prize. His other works included Where You Once Belonged, Plainsong, Benediction, and Our Souls at Night. He spent 30 years teaching English and writing at several universities including Southern Illinois University and Nebraska Wesleyan University. He died on November 30, 2014 at the age of 71.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Narrator Hearn, who won a Tony award for his performance in the Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard, proves to be a perfect complement to Haruf's earthy, austerely elegant prose in this atmospheric sequel to Hearn's novel Plainsong (1999). Many of the characters from that book return, with the brothers Harold and Raymond MacPheron once again serving as the focal point. Haruf concentrates on the complexities of what seems to be a simple Colorado community. New characters include a mentally challenged couple struggling to raise their two children, and an 11-year-old orphan boy charged with caring for his aging grandfather. The text is restrained, as is Hearn's performance. His relaxed, throaty voice and even pace fit comfortably with a book that boasts its fair share of sayings like, "Yes, ma'am," and in which a present participle ending in "g" is rarer than a discouraging word. He makes only the slightest alterations for different characters, yet they all ring true. Whether describing the events of a tragic death or a couple's thorough contemplation of the likelihood that pouring raisins on plain cereal would be the same thing as Raisin Bran itself, Hearn's voice possesses an ease and casual quaintness to rival Garrison Keillor, and it precisely conveys this book's enchanting spell. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Haruf continues the story he told so poignantly in his best-selling and highly regarded novel Plainsong (1999), returning to tiny Holt, Colorado, and the cattle ranch of the elderly, laconic, and kind McPheron brothers, Harold and Raymond. The McPherons have long lived and worked together, but instead of being set in their ways, they happily welcomed teenage mother Victoria and her baby girl into their humble home. Now Victoria and Katie are about to move away so that Victoria can attend college. The brothers know that they're going to miss them, but no one is prepared for the tragedy that befalls Harold. Generous souls step up, and Raymond soldiers on, but others struggle mightily. Mary's despair over her husband's defection places her two young daughters in jeopardy. Orphaned 11-year-old DJ sacrifices his boyhood to care for his grandfather. Luther and Betty love their children, but they're none too bright and not even their caring social worker, Rose, can keep them safe. A master of restraint and a writer of remarkable tenderness and dignity, Haruf tells his characters' tough stories without omniscient commentary, trusting in the power of straight-ahead prose and realistic predicaments. And readers, grateful for a return visit to archetypal Holt and entranced by the bracing clarity of the wind-chilled open range and the solace of coffee-warm kitchens, will share Haruf's respect for life's mysteries and his faith in goodness. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Readers familiar with Haruf's Plainsong will remember the McPheron brothers, Raymond and Harold. This new novel opens with the brothers taking Victoria and her little daughter, Katie, off to Fort Collins, where Victoria is due to begin college. Facing a long winter alone, the brothers go back to their routine as cattle ranchers in Holt, CO, where tragedy awaits. In addition to familiar characters, we meet new faces. There is 11-year-old DJ Kephart, who cares for his 75-year-old grandfather. Next door to the Kepharts is Mary Wells, whose husband moved off to Alaska, leaving behind a bereft Mary uninterested in life or her kids. Luther and Betty June Wallace are trying to hang onto their two kids by visiting a social worker and taking parenting classes. But just as they seem to be making some headway, Betty June's no good uncle shows up to wreak havoc. Life is hard in this small rural town, and the problems of abuse, addiction, neglect, divorce, and loneliness are as pervasive as they are in big cities. Through Haruf's crisp, clean prose, we feel the pain of Holt's citizens as they struggle to survive life with hope and dignity. No easy answers here, just honest storytelling that is compelling and rings true. Highly recommended for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/03.] Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-In this sequel to Plainsong (Knopf, 1999), Victoria Roubideaux and her baby move from the McPheron ranch to settle into her new life of college and single parenthood. When Harold McPheron is accidentally killed by a bull, his brother, Raymond, tries desperately to cope with the ranch and living by himself. Rose Tyler, a kind, middle-aged social worker, eventually becomes his friend and lover and acts as a balance in his life. Harold becomes a part of the lives of her clients, especially young DJ Kephart, who struggles daily to be both an elementary school child and caregiver to his grandfather. This natural interaction of people thrown together by fate and unplanned circumstances realistically mimics life in general and, specifically, the community life of many small towns. The overall tone of the book offers hope and love despite the stark moments of sadness and grief. Compassion, strength of character, and loving concern for all life become the positive forces that help each of the individuals carry on. This book stands alone, but reading the two novels in sequence gives additional meaning and understanding to the events and characters.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



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 said. On account of the occasion. But no sir, it's still only warm mush. Which tastes about like the back page of a wet newspaper. Delivered yesterday. You can eat what you want after I'm gone. I know you will anyway. Yes ma'am, probably so. Then he looked at her. But I'm not in any rush for you to leave here. I'm just trying to joke you a little. I know you are. She smiled at him. Her teeth were very white in her brown face, and her black hair was thick and shiny and cut off neat below her shoulders. I'm almost ready, she said. First I want to feed Katie and get her dressed, then we can start. Let me have her, Raymond said. Is she done eating? No, she isn't, the girl said. She might eat something for you though. She just turns her head away for me. Raymond stood and walked around the table and took up the little girl and returned to his seat and sat her on his lap and sprinkled sugar on the oatmeal in his bowl and poured out milk from the jar on the table and began to eat, the black-haired round-cheeked girl watching him as if she were fascinated by what he was doing. He held her easily, comfortably, his arm about her, and spooned up a small portion and blew over it and offered it to her. She took it. He ate more himself. Then he blew over another spoonful and gave that to her. Harold poured milk into a glass and she leaned forward over the table and drank a long time, using both hands, until she had to stop for breath. What am I going to do in Fort Collins when she won't eat? Victoria said. You can call on us, Harold said. We'll come see about this little girl in about two minutes. Won't we, Katie. The child looked across the table at him, unblinking. Her eyes were as black as her mother's, like buttons or currants. She said nothing but took up Raymond's calloused hand and moved it toward the cereal bowl. When he held out the spoon she pushed his hand toward his mouth. Oh, he said. All right. He blew over it elaborately, puffing his cheeks, moving his red face back and forth, and now she would eat again. When they were finished Victoria carried her daughter into the bathroom off the dining room to wash her face and then took her back to their bedroom and changed her clothes. The McPheron brothers went upstairs to their rooms and got into town clothes, dark trousers and pale shirts with pearl snaps and their good white hand-shaped Bailey hats. Back downstairs they carried Victoria's suitcases out to the car and set them in the trunk. The backseat was already loaded with boxes of the little girl's clothes and blankets and bedsheets and toys, and a child's padded car seat. Behind the car was the pickup and in its bed, together with the spare tire and the jack and a half dozen empty oil cans and dry wisps of brome hay and a piece of rusted barbed wire, were the little girl's high chair and her daybed, its mattress wrapped in a new tarp, all of it lashed down with orange binder twine. They returned to the house and came out with Victoria and the little girl. On the porch Victoria paused for a moment, her dark eyes welling with sudden tears. What's the matter here? Harold said. Is something wrong? She shook her head. You know you can always come back. We're expecting you to. We're counting on it. Maybe it'll help to keep that in mind. It isn't that, she said. Is it because you're kind of scared? Raymond said. It's just that I'm going to miss you, she said. I haven't been gone before, not like this. That other time with Dwayne I can't even remember and I don't want to. She shifted the little girl from one arm to the other and wiped at her eyes. I'm just going to miss you, that's all it is. You can call if you need something, Harold said. We'll still be here at the other end. But I'm still going to miss you. Yes, Raymond said. He looked out from the porch toward the barnlot and the brown pastures beyond. The blue sandhills in the far distance low on the low horizon, the sky so clear and empty, the air so dry. We're going to miss you too, he said. We'll be about like old played-out workhorses once you're gone. Standing around lonesome, always looking over the fence. He turned to study her face. A face familiar and dear to him now, the three of them and the baby living in the same open country, in the same old weathered house. But you think you can come on? he said. We probably ought to get this thing started if we're going to. Raymond drove her car with Victoria sitting beside him so she could reach into the back and tend to Katie in her padded chair. Harold followed them in the pickup, out the lane onto the gravel county road, headed west to the two-lane blacktop, then north toward Holt. The country both sides of the highway was flat and treeless, the ground sandy, the wheat stubble in the flat fields still bright and shiny since its cutting in July. Beyond the barrow ditches the irrigated corn stood up eight feet tall, darkly green and heavy. The grain elevators in the distance showed tall and white in town beside the railroad tracks. It was a bright warm day with the wind coming hot out of the south. In Holt they turned onto US 34 and stopped at the Gas and Go where Main Street intersected the highway. The McPherons got out and stood at the pumps, gassing up both vehicles as Victoria went in to buy them cups of coffee and a Coke for herself and a bottle of juice for the little girl. Ahead of her in line at the cash register a heavy black-haired man and his wife were standing with a young girl and a small boy. She had seen them walking at all hours along the streets of Holt and she had heard the stories. She thought that if it weren't for the McPheron brothers she might be like them herself. She watched as the girl moved to the front of the store and took a magazine from the rack at the plateglass windows and flipped through it with her back turned away as if she were not related in any manner to the people at the counter. But after the man had paid for a box of cheese crackers and four cans of pop with food stamps, she put the magazine back and followed the rest of her family out the door. When Victoria came out, the man and the woman were standing in the tarred parking lot deciding something between themselves. She couldn't see the girl or her brother, then turned and saw they were standing together at the corner under the traffic light, looking up Main Street toward the middle of town, and she went on to where Raymond and Harold were waiting for her at the car. It was shortly after noon when they drove down the ramp off the interstate and into the outskirts of Fort Collins. To the west, the foothills rose up in a ragged blue line obscured by yellow smog blown up from the south, blown up from Denver. On one of the hills a white A was formed of whitewashed rocks, a carryover from when the university's teams were called the Aggies. They drove up Prospect Road and turned onto College Avenue, the campus was all on the left side with its brick buildings, the old gymnasium, the smooth greens lawns, and passed along the street under the cottonwoods and tall blue spruce until they turned onto Mulberry and then turned again and then located the apartment building set back from the street where the girl and her daughter would now live. They parked the car and the pickup in the lot behind the building, and Victoria went in with the little girl to find the apartment manager. The manager turned out to be a college girl not unlike herself, only older, a senior in sweatshirt and jeans with her blonde hair sprayed up terrifically on her head. She came out into the hallway to introduce herself and began at once to explain that she was majoring in elementary education and working as a student teacher this semester in a little town east of Fort Collins, talking without pause while she led Victoria to the second-floor apartment. She unlocked the door and handed over the key and another one for the outside door, then stopped abruptly and looked at Katie. Can I hold her? I don't think so, Victoria said. She won't go to everybody. The McPherons brought up the suitcases and the boxes from the car and set them in the small bedroom. They looked around and went back for the daybed and high chair. Standing in the door, the manager looked over at Victoria. Are they your grandfathers or something? No. Who are they? Your uncles? No. What about her daddy then? Is he coming too? Victoria looked at her. Do you always ask so many questions? I'm just trying to make friends. I wouldn't pry or be rude. We're not related that way, Victoria said. They saved me two years ago when I needed help so badly. That's why they're here. They're preachers, you mean. No. They're not preachers. But they did save me. I don't know what I would've done without them. And nobody better say a word against them. I've been saved too, the girl said. I praise Jesus every day of my life. That's not what I meant, Victoria said. I wasn't talking about that at all. The McPheron brothers stayed with Victoria Roubideaux and the little girl throughout the afternoon and helped arrange their belongings in the rooms, then in the evening took them out to supper. Afterward they came back to the rented apartment. When they were parked in the lot behind the building they stood out on the pavement in the cool night air to say good-bye. The girl was crying a little again now. She stood up on her toes and kissed each of the old men on his weathered cheek and hugged them and thanked them for all they had done for her and her daughter, and they each in turn put their arms around her and patted her awkwardly on the back. They kissed the little girl. Then they stood back uncomfortably and could not think how to look at her or the child any longer, nor how to do much else except leave. You make sure to call us, Raymond said. I'll call every week. That'll be good, Harold said. We'll want to hear your news. Then they drove home in the pickup. Heading east away from the mountains and the city, out onto the silent high plains spread out flat and dark under the bright myriad indifferent stars. It was late when they pulled into the drive and stopped in front of the house. They had scarcely spoken in two hours. The yardlight on the pole beside the garage had come on in their absence, casting dark purple shadows past the garage and the outbuildings and past the three stunted elm trees standing inside the hogfencing that surrounded the gray clapboard house. In the kitchen Raymond poured milk into a pan on the stove and heated it and got down a box of crackers from the cupboard. They sat at the table under the overhead light and drank down the warm milk without a word. It was silent in the house. There was not even the sound of wind outside for them to hear. I guess I might just as well go up to bed, Harold said. I'm not doing any good down here. He walked out of the kitchen and entered the bathroom and then came back. I guess you've decided to sit out here all night. I'll be up after a while, Raymond said. Well, Harold said. All right then. He looked around. At the kitchen walls and the old enameled stove and through the door into the dining room where the yardlight fell in through the curtainless windows onto the walnut table. It feels empty already, don't it. Empty as hell, Raymond said. I wonder what she's doing now. I wonder if she's all right. I hope she's sleeping. I hope her and that little girl are both sleeping. That'd be the best thing. Yes, it would. Harold bent and peered out the kitchen window into the darkness north of the house, then stood erect. Well, I'm going up, he said. I can't think what else I'm suppose to do. I'll be up shortly. I want to sit here a while. Don't fall asleep down here. You'll be sorry for it tomorrow. I know. I won't. Go ahead on. I won't be long. Harold started out of the room but stopped at the door and turned back once more. You reckon it's warm enough in that apartment of hers? I been trying to think. I can't recollect a thing about the temperature in them rooms she rented. It seemed like it was warm enough to me. When we was in there it did. If it wasn't I guess we'd of noticed it. You think it was too warm? I don't guess so. I reckon we'd of noticed that too. If it was. I'm going to bed. It's just goddamn quiet around here is all I got to say. I'll be up after a bit, Raymond said. From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from Eventide by Kent Haruf All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.