Sunday, April 27, 2008

From the author of "Plainsong"

Kent Haruf wrote the novel "Where You Once Belonged" before he wrote the critically acclaimed, best seller, "Plainsong". I read "Where You Once Belonged" because I remembered how much I had enjoyed the writing and the story in "Plainsong". "Where You Once Belonged" is a story that takes place in the small Colorado town of Holt. The reliable narrator of this story is Pat Arbuckle, son of the owner and editor of the Holt Mercury. Pat tells the story of his childhood friend, the legendary bad boy and ex-football star, Jack Burdette. It is a story of a small town looking for a hero but this hero plays a dirty trick on the town. As the years pass the narrator and the anti-hero grow into men. Their lives and the lives of the people they love become entangled in sad and unavoidable consequences which lead to a stunning climax.

It is a story that propels the reader to turn each page. Kent Haruf is an extraordinary story teller. He writes short, terse sentences------- “It was 1971. It was spring. Jack had been manager of the Co-Elevator for about six months.” But, each sentence and paragraph have a sense of urgency, warning the reader to beware, something is going to happen in this sleepy, small town and it is not going to be good.

This was Kent Haruf’s second novel. It won the Whiting Foundation Award and a citation from the Pen/Hemingway Foundation. His first novel was, "The Tie That Binds". Let’s hope Mr.Haruf will continue to write these beautifully crafted, engrossing stories.

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