Benediction by Kent Haruf captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way.
Mary and Dad Lewis have spent their entire lives in Holt, Colorado. When Dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, their daughter Lorraine comes home from Denver to help take care of him. Their estranged son Frank is absent, and while Lorraine's complete devotion to making things as comfortable as possible softens things, he remains in their thoughts.
A young girl named Alice moves in next door with her grandmother. Dad's condition brings painful memories of her own mother's death to the surface that she has to deal with. At the same time a new preacher comes to town and is trying hard to hold true to his beliefs and mend a strained relationship with his wife and teenaged son.
Throughout all this, an elderly widow and her middle-aged daughter do everything they can to ease the pain of their friends and neighbors. As Dad faces his final days, we get a glimpse at the community that binds Holt together.
Mary S @ Zablocki (Center Street)