Just as with Plainsong, the language of Evantide by Kent Haruf, the second book in his trilogy, evokes a simpler time in life when people spoke plainly, when a community rallied to support those dealing with life’s losses and tragedies, when people genuinely seemed to care for each other by showing their kindness and generosity in very tangible ways. We meet new faces here along with some already familiar to readers of Plainsong. The McPheron brothers are as endearing as ever. As was true of Plainsong, Haruf performs an amazing feat of capturing the uniqueness of his characters through their actions and through dialog stripped to bare minimum with short sentences and few words.
Evantide wasn't as uplifting as Plainsong. Its characters struggle with poverty, violence, abuse, tragedy, loss, and loneliness. But peppered throughout is evidence of people’s kindness, generosity, simplicity, and compassion, all of which are lovingly and beautifully rendered against the backdrop of a rural, rugged town in Colorado.