Oh, you guys. This book. It wrecked me in the best possible way. This is the final novel from Kent Haruf, who died last fall, and what a book to leave as his last work.
It's the deceptively simple story of Louis and Addie, elderly neighboring widower and widow. Addie approaches Louis with a proposition: she'd like to sleep with him. But not in the Biblical sense. She's lonely, tired of being alone in her bed night after night. She just wants someone there with her, to hold hands with and talk to.
It sounds precious, but it's not. These are two very real older people who are trying to cope with aging, loss, unmet dreams, disappointments, and just getting the last bits of sweetness life might afford them. As they spend time together, they talk about their respective marriages, what worked and what didn't. They join forces to help Addie's son, whose marriage is breaking down and who leaves his son with Addie for the summer, an act that ends up having unexpected consequences for everyone.
I can't say more without giving spoilers. Let's just say that I loved, loved, loved this book in spite of the fact that Haruf engaged in one my pet peeves--no quotation marks for dialogue. Yet I found that easy to overlook as I read his spare, simple prose that was so much more profound than it appears on the surface.