I discovered Kent Haruf early last year when I read his novel Plainsong. I followed up with Eventide, a sequel and just as good. Both books are set in Holt, Colorado, as is his latest, just about to be published in this country, Benediction. It's about the last months in the life of Dad Lewis, the care and love he receives from his wife Mary and daughter Lorraine, and a family sorrow over their son and brother Frank; as well as about the lives of others connected with them, neighbours, employees, friends.
In circumstances I won't describe, as I don't want to spoil what is an amusing - though also sad - episode, one of the novel's protagonists comments on the 'precious ordinary'. Whether Haruf was intending by that to echo John Updike's comment about 'giv[ing] the mundane its beautiful due', I don't know. Probably. In any case, the precious ordinary is what Benediction is about and what it marvellously captures. I shall now be going in search of the author's earlier books.
There's a feature about Kent Haruf here. (Thanks: CW.)