Our Souls at Night was highlighted on the Chapter’s website and was a unique novel giving a great perspective on healthy aging and romance at any age. It is a short novel that can (and likely should) be read in one sitting. It is the story of Addie and Louis, lonely neighbours, both in their seventies, who find companionship and love to combat the loneliness that they have been experiencing since their spouses died.
Addie proposes that Louis join her a night so that she is not alone. Although shocked with her daring proposal, he quickly agrees and they begin a tentative arrangement, showing up with his pyjamas in a paper bag the first night. The relationship begins chaste and the couple slowly learn to care about each other as they share their past lives and the hardships that they encountered during their marriages.
Together they help care for Addie’s grandson, Jamie, who stays with her for a summer following the separation of his parents. The threesome keep busy by spending time with an elderly neighbour, adopting a dog and going camping. These activities not only provide new opportunities for Jamie but help him to heal and gain confidence in himself.
This is a beautiful story up until the last few chapters. It gives a positive perspective of healthy aging and love that is shared between seniors. It shows the richness and experience that this couple can share with Jamie while his father is so wrapped up in his own issues. I do have to say that I did not care for the ending and while I will not elaborate and spoil the last few chapters for others, the attitude of the son was very disappointing yet not surprising based on my experience with family dynamics in a healthcare setting.
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Interesting review, thank you. I am a relative newcomer to the work of Kent Haruf and Benediction (no 3 in the Plainsong Trilogy) made for an excellent read
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