“A delicate, sneakily devastating evocation of place and character . . . Haruf’s story accumulates resonance through carefully chosen details; the novel is quiet but never complacent.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the one line synopsis of this book.
The novel opens with a visit that Addie Moore (a widow) pays her neighbour, Louis Waters (a widower). Addie makes the surprising proposal that they begin sleeping together. Naturally, Louis is taken aback!
She says, “I mean we’re both alone. We’ve been by ourselves for too long. For years. I’m lonely. I think you might be too. I wonder if you would come and sleep in the night with me. And talk.”
So, start the night visits by Louis – without sex, just to talk in the dark and provide the easy comfort of physical company.
Most of their story is about reminiscing about the past – their lives with their respective spouses, their children, things they did wrong, things they could have done better, their dreams, hopes and aspirations.
Slowly, an easy camaraderie develops between them. Of course, the town gossips, and their children disapprove – but they don’t care!
As children, instead of supporting our widowed parents, should we judge them based on choices they make? So what they were married once? Every individual has a right to feel happiness.
Perhaps happiness is less predictable than misery, because it gives a sense of freedom. Like freedom, also, it’s never secure; it can’t be forever. But it can be real, and in this beautiful story, we can at least believe it.
This novel is a profound homage to love and companionship.
Softly written, heart-rending, a poignant novel that will touch your souls.
My rating: 3.5/5
Added 9th July 2017