By Kent Haruf
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A story of life and death, family and community, set out on the high plains of Colorado.
Dad Lewis is dying. As the residents of Holt, Colorado pass in and out of his front door to voice their farewells, their prayers, their good wishes, Dad's wife and daughter work to make his final days as comfortable as possible, knowing all is tainted by the bitterness of an absent son.
In the house across the street, a young girl moves in with her grandmother and is fascinated and unsettled by the memories that Dad's condition stir up of her own family's past. And down town another new arrival, the Reverend Rob Lyle, attempts to mend strained relationships of his own, as he faces up to his latest congregation.
Benediction forms - with Plainsong and Eventide - a loose trilogy set in Haruf's fictional town of Holt, an imaginative landscape which is as vivid and powerful as those of Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx. Heart-breaking yet affirming, this is a novel that explores the pain, the compassion and above all the humanity of ordinary people.