Benediction takes you on a journey with a small town family facing the impending death of the patriarch, Dad Lewis, after a bout with cancer. The novel has the feel of what it must be like to live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, but there are dark stories just under the surface. As the novel follows Dad Lewis’ slow march toward death, author Kent Haruf spins us off different side roads into the family’s past and into the lives of others from the community.
The novel probably depicts the real lives of a family and is actually somewhat depressing in its realism. The book was engaging, but left me dry. I was nearly finished with the book and a coworker stopped in my office. She said that she noticed that I read a lot during lunch and inquired about recommendations. I couldn’t really recommend Benediction to her even as it sat there on my lap.