Our Souls at Night: A novel - Kent Haruf

This book is not for me. I am in my early twenties and have never been married — nor do I plan to take that leap. I have never been in an long-term, committed relationship. I have never felt that sort of romantic love, that connection, nor have I felt the loss that often accompanies it.


Kent Haruf’s final published work, a novella (despite the cover’s insistence that this is a novel) is about two elderly neighbors, Louis and Addie, who develop a friendship after losing both of their spouses. Their tales unfold; they have been neighbors for decades but have never been too close. This is a rumination on ageism, death, love, family . . . all that good stuff. But it’s just not for me. I’m not ‘there’ yet. I can admit that. Speaking objectively, this is probably fine (though the overly simplistic writing style did wear on me after a while), but I couldn’t connect to these characters in any way.


If you are looking for a quick, poetic, and occasionally beautiful read, you could do much worse. I know this received rave reviews from critics and several of my friends loved it, too. But said friends are all older and, for the most part, married. As for me, Our Souls At Night felt rather anemic.