Title: Plainsong
Authors: Haruf, Kent
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 301
Year: 1999
Language: English
Description: Holt, Colorado. Population: nobody is counting. Tom Guthrie, local schoolteacher learning to manage without his wife and mother of his sons Ike and Bobby, Maggie Jones helping teenager Victoria Roubideaux find refuge in the home of confirmed bachelors and cattle farmers Raymond and Harold McPherson; ordinary people going about their ordinary lives. However, poetic evocations of landscape and weather ensure this beautifully rendered story of quintessential small town America is far from ordinary.

As simple and as unadorned as its title suggests, it is a quiet celebration of the power of community and the presence of grace. [Small font]

Comments from Groups:

We all really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy. Palmerston North 031

Exceptionally well received - some gave it a "10'!! Auckland 287

A beautiful book. Well structured and lives up to its title. Enjoyed by all and highly recommended. Thames 002

We all liked this book - the style of writing, and the picture it portrayed of small town America. We found the title very apt - there were no emotional highs or lows, despite the individual dramas. It all continued on the same note. Whitby 002

We all enjoyed this story of small town US. We could relate to it as we live in a small town here. Once we were used to the lack of speech marks, the story of the people of Holt became absorbing with its simple and unadorned story-telling language. Lives of ordinary people rendered extraordinary by the quality of the spare, restrained writing and beautiful descriptions of the countryside. Believable situations and characters - we loved them all. Matamata 001

Categories: Fiction, Community, Relationships, America, 2016 Titles, Small font


[Please log in to write a review]
By: WELL 074 2022-04-22 15:18:46
Enjoyed by most. Lots of discussion.

By: NELS 023 2022-03-02 13:06:13
Our group loved this book. We enjoyed the writing, the development of the characters and the sense of place in Eastern Colorado. Some members have read the 2 sequels already.

By: AUCK 306 2022-03-02 10:55:42
Our group unanimously loved this novel. The style in which it is written emotes so much with sparing description, a very skilful talent of the writer. We all want to source his other books, both the two subsequent stories after 'Plainsong', as well as his previous ones. It's very sad to know that Kent Haruf is no longer with us.

By: AUCK 226 2022-01-12 11:27:42
I absolutely loved it, and am keen to read the further novels in the trilogy. Language was spare yet eloquent, characters real yet appealing, plot small yet engrossing!

By: CHCH 001 2021-11-01 10:39:44
An absorbing, slow moving, gentle story of life in a small town. The characters are well drawn, range in age from pre teen brothers, teenage bullies, to adults with a wide range of personalities and all with various 'problems'. The author weaves his story well with no great highs or lows, but rather hints of undercurrents that cause problems - a readable, look at life.

By: HAMIL 062 2021-09-13 12:16:42
Feedback mixed with a few people who didn't like it at all, to the majority who loved it. Those members described the writing as simple,low key,slow paced, descriptive and atmospheric. Believable, likeable, well-portrayed characters going through complex emotional times in a stoic unemotional way. The theme of community, redemption of “ordinary” people through relationships was touching and so well portrayed that the slightly improbable plot seemed totally credible. The plot was not so tidy. Some irritated by lack of punctuation, and some found some scenes/content disturbing.

By: METH 001 2021-09-10 12:18:38
Brilliantly written, simple but elegant. Richly depicted characters. Group ALL rated this as a 5 which is unusual, but an indication of how we felt.

By: WELL 086 2021-06-02 14:54:17
Really liked it.

By: PALMN 002 2021-05-14 13:41:19
One of the longest and engaged discussions of a BDS book. Easy to read, but too many life situations for one story. Discussed supportive services that would be expected in NZ, but appeared missing in these USA stories...

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