A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013
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From the beloved and best-selling author comes a story of life and death, family and community, once again set out on the high plains in Holt, Colorado. When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the bitter absence of their estranged son ...
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780385363648
Branch Call Number: PS3558.A716 B46 2013x
Characteristics: 1 downloadable audio file (1 sound file (8 hr., 49 min., 8 sec.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Bramhall, Mark


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AnnabelleLee27 Nov 06, 2016

A beautiful & slow glimpse into life (and death) in Holt, Colorado. Several storylines run through out but much is left unsaid or unfinished and I found myself wanting more explicit connection and resolution. At times I also found the pace a bit too slow and it dragged in places. However, I did love the women characters (especially the scene of them swimming in the stock tank!) and overall it was a moving novel. On the audio CD the reader did an excellent job bringing the story to life.

Apr 03, 2016

I really like the writing but the storyline didn't grab me as much as his other books

Aug 17, 2015

I gave up on this in the first chapter, although it might have been the way it was read. A reader can kill a great book or make a lesser book great.

Jul 28, 2014

A beautifully read book. No real highs; no real lows. Just a story that reflects human life. A lot of insightful telling by the author. I would recommend this as a gentle read that left me wondering a bit when it finished.

Oct 09, 2013

* stars When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the absence of their estranged son. Next door, a young girl moves in with her grandmother and contends with the memories that Dad?s condition stirs up of her own mother?s death. A newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and son, and soon faces the disdain of his congregation. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do all they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors. I really liked Haruf's book Plainsong, so was looking forward to this book. Benediction is so depressing!!! I think we are supposed to empathize with "Dad" because he is estranged from his son, yet the reason for the separation is because Dad rejected his son because he is gay. Dad has had faithful employees helping him manage his store for years, but asks his daughter to give up her own life to come home and take over the store. The people who have worked for him for years no longer matter. Dad fired an employee for stealing from his store and then helped to support the man's family after he commits suicide. This does not make him a good man, it makes him a judgmental man who assuages his conscience by doing "the right thing" when it is too late. When his wife, Mary, briefly hospitalized for stress over the burden of caring for him, checks out AMA and walks home all the way across town, he tells her: ?If you keep this up, I?m going to die right now and not put it off any longer, just to keep you from doing this again.? Good empathy there, Dad. Benediction means blessing - there is no blessing in this book except when Dad finally passes away and puts everyone, especially the reader out of our misery. I don't understand the author's purpose in writing this book. There is no redemption, no insight, no healing. I simply found the book profoundly depressing. Cannot recommend.

Sep 02, 2013

A very special book, meant to be read slowly and thoughtfully. The audio production was perfect. The skilled narrator added immensely to the mood of the story.

Sep 01, 2013

So good! Dad Lewis lives his last few weeks and in the process he, his family and friends realize the fragility of life, it's specialness and the love they have for themselves and life.
Dad Lewis is an ordinary man, who lived an ordinary life. He had good times, he was a good man, he made mistakes and in his last few days, he has a few regrets but also many joys for the life he's lead.


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