Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Souls at Night: My take on the book by Kent Haruf


Home in bed with a bit of the sickies, I downloaded Our Souls at Night on my Nook. It's a small book—just 136 pages—written in a very simple, straightforward style. No big words, just big feelings, and thoughts about how we choose to live our lives and who for? I finished it in a few hours but their story will stay with me for quite awhile. 




It is a lovely, heartfelt tale, about two lonely older people in their 70's. Both of their lives didn't play out exactly as they might have wished, this is likely their last chance at love. Together, little by little, layer by layer, they come to share the secrets of their pasts and find new joy in simple pleasures; picnics and Sunday drives, and just having someone to share your thoughts with. I was touched throughout the book by how clear and direct and patient they were with each other, and by all the unspoken wonders they found in the world around them. I found myself sniffing back tears several times. The addition of Addie's grandson Jamie into the plot—a bit of a monkeywrench in how he affects their romance—is heart-wrenching. 



The film version of Kent Haruf's last book comes to the screen on September 29th and I'm eager to see how Robert Redford and Jane Fonda translate Louis and Addie onscreen. Check out the teaser trailer below, it really is quite sweet. The rest of the cast includes Matthias Schoenaerts—who I ususally like but I'm a bit miffed he's playing Addie's disapproving son Gene, Judy Greer as Redford's daughter Holly, Bruce Dern as a disapproving neighbor and Ian Armitage as Addie's grandson, Jamie. Jamie is one of the few who doesn't disapprove! 

The script was written by rom-com masters Scott Neustadter
and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer, The Fault in Our Stars, Where'd You Go Bernadette

About the book, from the publisher...
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change? As Addie and Louis come to know each other better--their pleasures and their difficulties--a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.

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