Our Souls at Night is a small gem. Just what I needed as a break from the more challenging reads on the Tournament of Books list. Addie Moore, widow, visits her neighbor and casual acquaintance Louis, widower, and proposes an arrangement. She hopes that maybe they can just spend the night together because nighttime is when the loneliness is sometimes too much, Addie just wants someone to talk to. They try it out, one night at a time, and they give each other what they have most to give, companionship. They live in a small town and not everyone approves of their arrangement, but they are beyond caring about what anyone else thinks. Well, almost anyone. The story and characters feel real, true, and heartfelt. I especially loved when Addie’s six yr old grandson comes for a visit. It reminded me of special times spent with my own grandparents. Haruf uses no extra words, perfect to describe these beautiful souls, souls who reach out to each other in the night. I am late to the Kent Haruf bandwagon. Our Souls at Night is his last novel (published posthumously), but it is the first one I’ve read despite his earlier works like Plainsong and Eventide being highly recommended staff picks at my favorite bookstore. And now I have some catching up to do.
Tournament of Books Update: (And a link to the ToB site, use the sidebar menu to read all the decisions from this year) So far, after 3 decisions (not counting this morning’s, which I haven’t read yet) I am 2-2-2. Two books that I read and liked have advanced, Spool of Blue Thread and Bats of the Republic. Two books that I haven’t read did not advance and the discussion convinced me that I don’t need to read them, Fates and Furies and Avenue of Mysteries. Two books that I haven’t read went head-to-head on Thursday and now I want to read them both, The Sympathizer, which advanced, and Oreo, which lost. And, as usual, the judge’s discussion of the books are so much better than my own reviews. Maria Bustillos, especially, found all the right ways to describe Bats of the Republic.