Where You Once Belonged

Kent Haruf, Author Summit Books $18.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-65903-5
Why is strapping, impulsive Jack Burdette, legendary bad boy and ex-football hero, promptly thrown into jail when he returns to Holt, Colo., after eight years on the run? The reader discovers the answer halfway through this deeply affecting novel. Earlier, we learn how Jack has abandoned his pregnant wife, two small sons, a girlfriend and piles of unpaid shopping-spree charges, but his sins against the town prove to be even more serious. The story is narrated by the editor-publisher of Holt's weekly newspaper; he is transformed from rueful, detached observer to tragic participant in the events, which inexorably unfold to a stunning climax. Haruf captures small-town people with a sharp humor and sympathy worthy of Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology . Not a word is wasted in his brooding drama, which conceals a tender love story in its bruised heart. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-0-330-49046-7
Open Ebook - 107 pages - 978-0-307-80785-4
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-375-70870-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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