It has been 8 years since Colorado writer Kent Haruf published a novel, but we're happy to hear that the author of Plainsong and Eventide will be back in 2013. Benediction (Knopf) will be published on March 5.

From the catalog:

When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the bitter absence of their estranged son. Next door, a young girl moves in with her grandmother and contends with the memories that Dad's condition stirs up of her own mother's death. A newly arrived preacher attempts to mend his strained relationships with his wife and son, and soon faces the disdain of his congregation when he offers more than they are used to getting on Sunday mornings. And throughout, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do all they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors.

Haruf is an expert at depicting small-town life, and this sounds like a powerful tale of faith and community. As he told us in 2004, "I want people to think that they have been in the presence of real people." We're looking forward to meeting the real people in Benediction. Will you read it?

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