Plainsong/Eventide/Benediction by Kent Haruf
I read Plainsong a couple of years ago and loved it. I had wanted to read the rest of the series and finally got around to it. Of course, because so much time had passed, I had to start with rereading Plainsong.
Plainsong – definitely a character driven story, as nothing much happens. However, I loved it! The characters are great and I really enjoyed spending time with them! I would even consider reading this a 3rd time.
Eventide – the story of my beloved characters continues. I loved reading more about them, watching them grow and change. I wept when one of them died. Not quite as good as Plainsong, but close enough!
Benediction – if this wasn’t the third of a trilogy, I wouldn’t have even finished it. The story was so depressing and unfortunately, there was only the briefest mention of 1 or 2 previous characters. The story was completely unrelated to the previous 2 books. I believe this book was not intended to be part of the series. Haruf died before it was published and I have a sneaking suspicion that the publishers made it part of the series just to help sell it. Marketing at its worst.
I use a 1-5 scale to rank books. I ranked Plainsong a 5, Eventide a 4 and Benediction somewhere around 2.
If you tend to read plot driven books (think suspense, thriller, family drama), give Plainsong a try and see if you don’t fall in love with these people!