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Summary

From the best-selling author of Eventide, The Tie That Binds is a powerfully eloquent tribute to the arduous demands of rural America and of the tenacity of the human spirit.

Colorado, January 1977. Eighty-year-old Edith Goodnough lies in a hospital bed, IV taped to the back of her hand, police officer at her door. She is charged with murder. The clues: a sack of chicken feed slit with a knife, a milky-eyed dog tied outdoors one cold afternoon. The motives: the brutal business of farming and a family code of ethics as unforgiving as the winter prairie itself.

Here, Kent Haruf delivers the sweeping tale of a woman of the American High Plains, as told by her neighbor, Sanders Roscoe. As Roscoe shares what he knows, Edith's tragedies unfold: a childhood of predawn chores, a mother's death, a violence that leaves a father dependent on his children, forever enraged. Here is the story of a woman who sacrifices her happiness in the name of family - and then, in one gesture, reclaims her freedom.

©2010 Kent Haruf (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"An impressive, expertly crafted work of sensitivity and detail.... Powerful." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"[A] fine first novel that dramatically and accurately explores the lives of people who work the land in the stark American Middle West." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Kent Haruf writes so wonderfully...His characters live, and the voice of his narrator reverberates after the last page: humorous, ironic, loving." ( The Christian Science Monitor)

What listeners say about The Tie That Binds

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Engaging

Wonderful book that had me crying and laughing. An amazing narrator too which can make all the difference.

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Excellent

Wonderful. Storytelling at it's best! Hard to believe that this was his first novel. The narrator is like an old friend, full of warmth. I hung on his every word, wanting to know what happened, without wanting his story to finish. I thoroughly recommend Our Souls at night, by this author and look forward to listening to his other books.

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A depressing read

Good grief, what a depressing read. I selected this book to listen while nursing a particularly bad head cold. Having listened to and enjoyed the softness of Eventide, I hoped the book would be in a similar vein - what a disappointment. Gloomy, glum, black. I gave up - it was making my head cold even worse

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  • COJoebro
  • 25-12-20

Something Like, Our Town, Meets watching Paint Dry

You know it’s bad when, in an effort to find something good to say, you settle on narration.. I get it, the author wanted to emphasize, and draw out the disparate quality of the town and one of the characters. Setting and character development matter. Still I’d argue that having a plot ought to count for something.

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  • Ursula Ingram
  • 28-05-20

Kent Haruf delivers

If you're looking for fluff with a happy ending, don't bother! However, if you're inclined to read about loyalty, persistence and an all-encompassing sense of obligation, you should read this book, or listen to it. Excellent character development and storyline! I once read it and have now enjoyed the audio version.

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  • Ann Dee Ellis
  • 21-02-19

Breakout freshman novel

This is a very well read performance of a softly-gripping tale told over hot drinks on a spring Sunday in Colorado.

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  • Cynthia Easler
  • 15-12-17

Loved this book!

This was an Amazing Story and an amazing performance. I highly recommend listening to it.