Book Review Our Souls at Night

Kent Haruf

One of our members said ‘I loved this book, it touched my heart and then it broke it’. A short, simple and touching story told in plain, unadorned prose written by someone with an understanding of ‘alone-ness’ and isolation. This story taps into some of the inevitabilities of ageing.

Louis and Addie have been neighbours for years until Addie proposes that they establish a closer companionship. They are circumspect, but indifferent to small-minded gossip in their small town.

Addie’s young grandson, Jamie, comes to stay to escape the misery of his separating parents. To help his pain, a dog called Bonny, is added to the mix. Louis and Addie are perceptive and kind to Jamie and their own affection flourishes. When Jamie’s parents attempt reunion, Jamie’s father is savagely and punitively critical of the relationship between Addie and Louis resulting in its cessation.

Despite the apparent victory for small-minded bigotry and spite, Addie and Louis manage to re-establish contact. Maybe there is hope for their future?

8/10 – Read by Dundas Readers