Plainsong

Plainsong

Book - 1999 | First ed.
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Set in Colorado in the 1980s, Plainsong tells the story of various Holt residents. There's teenager Victoria Roubideaux, pregnant and homeless, taken in by two ageing, shy and somewhat taciturn cattle-farming brothers -- and the changes wrought in all their lives as a result. Then there's high-school teacher and single-father, Tom Gutherie, who has two sons, Ike and Bobby, and a second chance at romance in the shape of colleague Maggie Jones.
Publisher: New Your : Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
Edition: First ed.
ISBN: 9781447289517
144728951X
9780375705854
0375705856
9780375406188
0375406182
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 301 p. ;,24 cm.

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From Library Staff

Don't read Plainsong and The Orchardist one after the other. They explore similar themes. Haruf's novel is a jewell of a read. It also involves rural bachelors whose peaceful existence is disturbed by the arrival of a pregnant teenage girl. There are strong similarities with The Orchardist, but i... Read More »


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QueenSheba_0
May 17, 2017

This is a simple, beautiful story about the ways that people make families and find and help each other. Set in rural Colorado, it feels timeless although it seems to be set somewhere around the 1980s.

path111 Apr 24, 2016

Plainsong derives its title from the unadorned and restrained religious chant which could be pictured in early morning prayer set in the low light and echo of a chapel. No, it's not a religious book (at least strict sense). But it's this aura that pervades the story of simple lives unfolding in the cattle ranch plains of eastern Colorado.

A trusted teacher tells a young pregnant student, "It's time for you to wake up now". Responsibility falls upon her, and is taken on by others in the community.

You come to know and love them all in their own no-frills way of dealing with their abandonment and unannounced summons. Even the unique light of the winter plains and its ubiquitous wind are characters in the simple narrative.

The reader meets these folk in their troubled and generous hearts.

I am better for having met them in my brief stay with them in this touching book.

o
ownedbydoxies
Oct 12, 2015

Such a great book. Deceptively simple, but rich with imagery and personalities. The old men in this one remind me so strongly of my grandpa and his brother, who were also old farmers on mixed farms. I will be reading all Mr. Haruf's other books now.

c
coachway
Oct 06, 2015

Plainsong is a simple, sweet story about real people. You should read it.

g
GilbertMartin
Aug 13, 2015

Very nice; straightforward storytelling, yet not too predictable. I will read the sequel.

j
JudiHertz
Jun 17, 2015

I have read Plainsong, Eventide and am now setting out to read Mr. Haruf's final book. He's a fantastic writer; draws you in so you can't put the book down. Don't miss these books. They are wonderful.

b
bookwormjeph
Feb 25, 2015

A story of small rural town America way out west that gently pulls one into the ordinary lives of some rather extraordinary locals. A teenage girl who is pregnant, a pair of elderly farmer brothers who have never married and a couple of young boys whose mother has walked out on them and their father who does his best with them. Nothing extraordinary happens- it's a sparsely written expose of their everyday lives, how they cope with what life throws at them and the quiet confidence they meet the challenges. Well worth spending time in their world.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 06, 2014

A gentle and touching story of how some extraordinary prairie folk in the small community of Holt, Colorado, come together in a time of difficulty and sadness to make an extended family. The most memorable set of characters in the last year’s reading.

k
kelf06
Jul 25, 2013

Very beautifully written. An absolute masterpiece. Dont even worry about the story, savour the atmosphere.

d
DeltaQueen50
Mar 17, 2013

In Plainsong, Kent Haruf weaves his story around struggling characters who learn to reach out and help one another. The story never crosses the line into becoming too emotional or overdone, the author’s writing is candid, under embellished and quite beautiful. I found Plainsong to be an uplifting experience, a simple, straight forward story that speaks to the heart.

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AL_MARYA Sep 10, 2017

Oh, I know it sounds crazy, she said. I suppose it is crazy. I don’t know. I don’t even care. But that girl needs somebody and I’m ready to take desperate measures. She needs a home for these months. And you—she smiled at them—you old solitary bastards need somebody too. Somebody or something besides an old red cow to care about and worry over. It’s too lonesome out here. Well, look at you. You’re going to die some day without ever having had enough trouble in your life. Not of the right kind anyway. This is your chance.”

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