Pairs There is an unsettling sense of oscillation, uncertainty, precarious balance, because this is a book of pairs: twins and opposites, of people and situations — even pairs of pairs Ike and Bobby Guthrie, the young brothers; Raymond and Harold McPheron, the old ones. One pair are bemused by the many varieties of sugar, eggs, and oats in a shop, then in the next chapter, another pair are bemused by the permutations of cribs, mattresses, and bedding. Windows are open and shaded. Two women withdraw from motherhood as another embarks on it, and childless people parent a mother. The pregnancy of cows is balanced with that of a young woman.
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Cruelty is counteracted with kindness. Perhaps the ultimate pair is that of this book with its sequel, Eventide. They are two halves of the same story, set a couple of years apart, both woven around the delicate combination of pairs of similarity and difference. If you read Plainsong and enjoy it, I urge to read Eventide soon after, as I did. Benediction is separate, despite GR labelling it as 3. Sleep is mentioned on the very first page, and is significant in almost every chapter for at least the first third of the book, and occasionally, but importantly, in the remainder.
A crucial turning point — more than would ordinarily be the case — concerns the decision to buy a crib.
There are so many dilemmas and issues: where characters sleep; how they sleep; whether to wake someone; whether someone is really asleep or not; the dishevelled look on waking; using sleep as an excuse; using lack of sleep as an excuse; watching someone sleep. Individually these incidents are dismissible as quotidian, but taken together, they hint at something deeper: Holt is not a sleepy small town in the usual sense.
There are life-changing events for all the main characters, but they are never treated as big emotional dramas. Holt's citizens are troubled in many ways, and that is reflected in their night-time hours. The chapters each bear the title of the main character s concerned. Not of the right kind anyway. Her involvement with Tom Guthrie is a similar combination of the forthright and passive.
Stoner The McPheron brothers reminded me strongly of the eponymous character of my joint favourite novel, Stoner. If Stoner had followed his more likely destiny as a son of the soil, he would have been barely distinguishable from Harold and Raymond. Quotes Important things happen to the characters in Plainsong, but it's really about the atmosphere conjured by the landscape and language, rather than plot.
Something unaccountable pending in the air. It looked cold and bleak outside. You can always feed yourselves. You remember that. When you go home too. The low sky closing down. This is another book I loved, that I only knew about thanks to the review of a GR friend. Thank you, Steve.
View all 59 comments. Feb 02, Jaline rated it it was amazing Shelves: completed , x-favourites. Welcome to the small town of Holt, Colorado and its surround countryside.
A Purple Heart at Far Acre Farm: The True Story of a Young Boy Who Spied for His Country [Hal W. Vaughan] on bosroperspaso.ga *FREE* shipping on qualifying. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Hal W. Vaughan () was an American author A Purple Heart at Far Acre Farm - Kindle edition by Hal Vaughan. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
I am not sure how it happened that I read this trilogy completely backwards, but now that I have read the last one the first one last as any good backwards reader will tell you , I can now see where the feuds started, where the marriages broke down, where new relationships were formed, where people lived — together and apart — and how their individual stories began to intertwine with those of their neighbours, their Welcome to the small town of Holt, Colorado and its surround countryside.
I am not sure how it happened that I read this trilogy completely backwards, but now that I have read the last one the first one last as any good backwards reader will tell you , I can now see where the feuds started, where the marriages broke down, where new relationships were formed, where people lived — together and apart — and how their individual stories began to intertwine with those of their neighbours, their friends, their enemies, and the strangers who just wandered into their lives.
There is one instance where one simple sentence of probably no more than a dozen words had me thinking, picturing exactly what he described. There is another wee paragraph that describes two people dancing, and at the end of it I was breathless — I had been in that dance — part of the whirling, twirling bodies at one with the music. And the vividness does not stop there. I could feel the anguished helplessness of two little boys who were being terrorized by a high school bully. All of them benefit in expansive ways because she knows when to put her thoughts forward and when to back away.
In his hands, the darker incidents, told plainly and simply, become strong messages about who we are at our worst, yet he always leaves the door open for possible redemption. One day I hope to read this Trilogy again, only this time I plan to do so by proceeding in chronological order.
I have a feeling that it will be like reading them with fresh, new eyes, and that my reading experience will be all the richer for it. View all 90 comments. Robin Beautiful review penned by a beautiful person, of a beautiful book.
Feb 24, AM. Jaline Robin wrote: "Beautiful review penned by a beautiful person, of a beautiful book. Jul 24, Candi rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , contemporary-literary , book-i-own. A beautifully written novel set in the rural town of Holt, Colorado, Plainsong is a book I will not soon forget.
The prose is modest yet so elegant in its simplicity. Nothing is overdone and yet what happens to the characters in this book is far from uneventful. A pair of young brothers that have to learn to adjust without a mother in the home, a teenage girl pregnant and without a home, a father trying to raise his boys on his own, and a pair of staunch old bachelors who are presented with a A beautifully written novel set in the rural town of Holt, Colorado, Plainsong is a book I will not soon forget. A pair of young brothers that have to learn to adjust without a mother in the home, a teenage girl pregnant and without a home, a father trying to raise his boys on his own, and a pair of staunch old bachelors who are presented with a somewhat extraordinary proposal - these all warmed my heart and I had a hard time detaching myself from their lives at story's end.
I don't want to say any more than this about the plot; you will have to read this yourself to appreciate all the connections and how their lives intersect with one another in a most meaningful way. My heart ached at times for the young brothers, Bobby and Ike, as well as for the quietly dignified mother-to-be, Victoria.
http://test.trailblazer.outdoorsy.co/57.php The McPheron brothers and an infirm elderly lady named Mrs. Stearns put a smile on my face and offered me a newfound faith in humanity. This is a story that resonates with hope and beauty and has earned nothing short of 5 stars from me.
View all 47 comments. I'm a private, introverted person. I don't enjoy debates or big flare-up arguments, with loud splotches of emotion. There's some emphatic feeling right there, all messy on the floor. Maybe it's my Canadian-ness, or a result of my upbringing in a house where my parents always kept their troubles quietly to themselves. Subtlety, it's a beautiful thing.
I aspire to it. In life and in books. Thus, I have a great deal of admiration for Kent Haruf's novel, which is 'plain' in title and execution. The words are serviceable and unadorned, much like the farm people who populate his story. Melodrama does not live here. Hysteria is not welcome.
Words lie on the page as they are, simple yet elegant. These simple words then reach into your heart, and march according to its beat. I found that all on my own, without coercion or even the slightest push from the author, I was connected with the people of Holt. Young boys who have to deal with their mother moving away, a pregnant teenager kicked out of her home, a newly single father, an elderly lady who makes cookies for boys who deliver her newspaper. They're all three dimensional people now, thanks to Haruf's subtle words.
Especially the McPheron brothers, two older men whose stoic, decent hearts are cracked open later in life, and who shine a warm light on every page they inhabit. The words, simple as they are, have power. So while I often don't reach it - subtlety, that is - Haruf's writing is a lovely reminder to keep trying. View all 67 comments. Plainsong is my second Kent Haruf novel and an easy 5 stars!
This powerful tale of small town life is set in Holt, a rural community near Denver in Colorado. The small cast of carefully drawn characters struggle with the challenges and quiet disasters of life. A young girl copes with an unplanned pregnancy, a school teacher lives through a marriage break up, his young sons try to make sense of the troubled world they find themselves in and two elderly brothers live in frigid isolation on their Plainsong is my second Kent Haruf novel and an easy 5 stars! A young girl copes with an unplanned pregnancy, a school teacher lives through a marriage break up, his young sons try to make sense of the troubled world they find themselves in and two elderly brothers live in frigid isolation on their cattle farm, coping with everyday hardships, a biting winter and loneliness.