eBook - 2001
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"A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver"--from print ed.
Publisher: New York : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2001
ISBN: 9780375726934
Characteristics: text file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

A teen rejected by her family is taken in by ranching brothers in small town Eastern Colorado. Uplifting.

In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl is pregnant and alone, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the f... Read More »

A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver. A high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone. A teenage girl is pregnant, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, work the family homestead, the onl... Read More »

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Bookwormie95 Jun 09, 2018

I'm not usually a fan of the whole Southwest-backcountry smalltown aesthetic, but this book pleasantly surprised me. The writing style at first reminded me of Cormac McCarthy, and I was going "Oh no, I can't handle bleak emotions like that," but it's a beautiful story that drew me in and then pleasantly didn't snap my neck. The characters are full of heart and there's a happy ending.

Apr 11, 2018

Full of grace, this slow moving tale weaves the lives of several members of the rural farming community, exposing their vulnerabilities. A satisfying , warm-hearted read.

Nov 06, 2017

A beautifully written, calm, at the same time gripping book about life in a small town in Colorado.

CircMary Oct 30, 2017

For those looking for excellent writing in a gentle read, Kent Haruf is your author. I don't know how I missed this special book when it came out in 2000, but I am glad I finally found it. There are 3 books in the Plainsong trilogy, but this first one is the gem.

Oct 23, 2017

Plainsong reminded me of the works of Cormac McCarthy in its pacing, and William Faulkner in its characters. Victoria is a teen aged girl who fell in love and got pregnant. The boy disappeared without ever finding out she was pregnant, and her mother kicked her out of the house. Victoria knocked on the door of Maggie, a teacher, and Maggie opened her heart to her. Even better, she persuaded two kind old brothers, who lived together and had never married, to take Victoria in. They have no clue about how to make her feel at home, but they try so hard to learn. It’s all going well, then the boy who got Victoria pregnant reappeared and talked her into going with him to Colorado. What’s waiting for her there, though, is partying and abnegation of responsibility to herself and her baby, so she takes the bus back home and re-installs herself in the old men’s house.

This book started off very slow, and I was tempted to abandon it. Once I got to know the characters, though, I liked it a lot. I liked THEM a lot. They live hard lives with a lot stacked against them, and minced no words for the sake of politeness. But they were so kind and honest, I couldn’t help but feel admiration and affection for them.

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.

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.

Oct 06, 2015

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

Aug 13, 2015

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

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ArapahoeMaryA 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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