Monday, January 25, 2010

Duty and Hopelessness

I just finished reading Kent Haruf's "The Tie that Binds". I've read his other novels and loved them. He writes of simple, everyday people who make the kinds of decisions we all have to make. Decisions that look all wrong on the outside, but that bring about hope. He writes about old men, young women, children, fathers, wives who live far away in the flat lands of Colorado.

"The tie that binds" is the kind of book that I usually don't like. It has very little conversation, with page after page of description. It moves slowly. Very slowly. But the emotion that his writing calls forth from me is overwhelming. This book is, at the very base, about a mean old man who is a father to a beautiful daughter and a simple son. It is also about duty, and the consequences and love and honor and dignity of living a life of duty. In the end, it is about hopelessness. And somehow, it is also about love.

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