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Bailey White
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Ein gutes Jahr für Pflaumen.

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,225 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Anyone who has read the best-selling Mama Makes Up Her Mind or listened to Bailey White's commentaries on NPR knows that she is a storyteller of inimitable wit and charm. Now, in her stunningly accomplished first novel, she introduces us to the peculiar yet lovable people who inhabit a small town in south Georgia. Meet serious, studious Roger, the peanut pathologist and un ...more
Published August 1st 2001 by Dtv (first published June 16th 1998)
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Jul 10, 2008 Aiken314 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Southerners - not sure Yankees could/would appreciate it!
I really enjoyed this book; Bailey White often has me in tears because she has such a natural ear that she is able to carry over into her writing. A brilliant book? No. Outstanding theme and/or plot? No. Quirky characters? YES!! Exceptionally well drawn snipets of southern life among slightly off-center, good-hearted people? YES!! Bailey White writes exceptional characters that are not stereotypical and yet . . . we [who have lived in small, rural towns] KNOW these folks. It's a great, short sum ...more
Dec 07, 2009 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Mama Makes Up Her Mind so much I was eager to read another Bailey White book. I was disappointed with Quite a Year for Plums . The characters just didn't "stick" with me. Their personalities were not distinct and no matter how many times I referred to the list of characters in the front of the book, the names meant very little. I gave up about three quarters through the book.
Jan 11, 2015 Peggy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2013
In this novel,we meet several characters that are very well developed by the author. You feel that they could be the men or women living down the road. But - they don't ever really DO anything. The whole book seems to be developing the characters - there is no plot. I spent a week reading their conversations with each other, waiting for something to happen - and it never did!
May 03, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with Bailey White's first attempt at fiction. I love her memoirs, so I had high hopes for this book. Eccentric Southern characters abound, but the story meanders and there just never seems to be any point to it all.
Paul Baker
This fascinating character study is called a "novel," but, speaking as a novelist, I just can't call it that. There are some characteristics it has in common with novels: It is fiction, it has characters, some themes are examined, and things happen. What is missing is structure. It's like spending a day fishing and not catching anything.

In a small south Georgia town, a group of strange people live their lives. The major characters are three older women, Eula, Meade, and Hilma. Eula is the glue t
Edward Creter
I like nice stories of quiet life in the South, not surprising as I live in St. Pete, Fla., home to hurricanes, fresh strawberries, orange juice and bad blood (racism, prejudice, etc. I put up with this all the time, AND I'm from New York. Do the math on THAT.) This book from one of NPR's brightest stars is her first novel and, tho' I can't quite recommend the simple plot which has holes to spare, I think it's a break from the violence and graphic sex of our modern world. It's set in the Florida ...more
Nov 02, 2008 bookyeti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, reviewed, fluff
Whimsical and witty…

Two words I would definitely not hesitate to use in description of this enjoyable little novel by Bailey White.

Quite A Year For Plums dwells on the slightly off-center antics of small town citizens in south Georgia, and boasts an array of characters who breathe life into every-day occurrences. There’s Roger, a quiet peanut pathologist who is a bit of an unlikely hometown celebrity. There’s Meade and Eula, two elderly spinsters who believe it is their sole purpose in life to
Jul 15, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I absolutely love the gardens in this book. Growing things are everywhere, and the characters cherish them. These characters range from gently befuddled through dangerously insane, but are lovable throughout. The joy is in the details---the difficulty one faces trying to paint chicken's feet (so difficult many artists contrive to leave them out of the scene)for example. As exasperating as they all are, these characters feel like family. Meanwhile, the story is laced with a deep sadness for the p ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book covered the lives of about a dozen characters in a one-year time span in Georgia. If you like a strong plot, you won't find it here, as there is no ascertainable plot at all. But what you will find are beautiful, quirky personalities that compliment each other with just the right combination of seriousness and humor. The story features dialogue between the characters, which makes you feel as if you're sitting right there with them, hearing every comment. This is a book to reread and sa ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusual, homespun, Southern story that I enjoyed very much. Really wanted the story to continue, felt there was more to be said.
Diana Skelton
Jul 28, 2015 Diana Skelton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
"Meade was sitting up in bed, elegantly dressed in a polished-cotton bed jacket, reading A Conservation Breeding Handbook. "'The loss of these breeds would impoverish agriculture and diminish the human spirit,'" Meade recited. "I do so often feel that my spirit is diminished, Hilma, don't you?" "

"He admired the style of the notes, the generous margins, the almost childish legibility, the careful use of punctuation, and the casual and almost intimate 'good' instead of the grammatical but pretent
Feb 18, 2009 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An expert example of southern literature, chock full of colorful characters living their daily lives while becoming part of our families while you read. Tales of an eccentric mama sleeping on the porch, chickens who inspire, and events that will stay with long after the book is finished, Bailey White might have recaptured the essence of Faulkner.
Dec 17, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, memoir
This is such a lovely book. You can just feel the humidity in the air. You will never look at a fan or a hen the same way again. It made me strive to live a calmer more thoughtful life - and I think I do since I read this. I can't wait to read more of Whites words. I would love to hear her on NPR again too.
Novel Destination
A woman who uses letters, foil and other small items to to converse with spacemen...a guy who adores desk fans that he actively hunts for and restores...a plant pathologist specializing in peanut diseases...a wildlife artist who specializes in birds...foresters and a couple retired teachers. These quirky characters (and more) inhabit the close-knit Southern community author Bailey White writes about in this delightful tale. It is a pleasure to see how the characters react to crises (real or imag ...more
so far this is very confusing - I usually don't have trouble keeping characters straight but I am having a terrible time with this one.
Feb 05, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite Bailey White book. (I think all my relatives are in this book under assumed names.)
Sep 30, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I don't know why I enjoyed this book, maybe because I myself grew in a small rural town that I got its vibe. The novel was set in a small rural town in Georgia and the story follows some its people. The novel is filled with funny and amazing set of characters. I find myself laughing with even just simple lines that some of the characters say. I like the quirkiness of the whole novel. The novel has no such thick plot or story line and it is basically a light read but very engaging. It is quite ed ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Shirley26505 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book at least five times and counting. I get something new out of it everytime.
Jan 01, 2009 Tamara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like the movie 'True Stories' for me - pointless!
Kristi Bumpus
I never can quite decide how I feel about Bailey White's books. It's Southern literature, a genre I generally enjoy. She's a talented writer, and her characters are finely drawn. She has a dry humor I thoroughly appreciate. Yet, for some reason, I don't love her books. Perhaps the lack of plot -- which I do realize is the point -- leaves me feeling aimless. I liked this one better than "Mama Makes Up Her Mind" and slightly less than "Sleeping at the Starlite Motel," so if you liked either of tho ...more
Feb 18, 2011 Leslie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring and pointless.
Mary Lou
Oct 04, 2015 Mary Lou rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed White's quirky characters but, like another reviewer, had trouble telling them apart. While their idiosyncrasies were very well-developed and endearing, we knew almost nothing else about them.

Quite a Year for Plums will be enjoyed more by readers who live in (or long for) the country, or those who consider themselves naturalists. White liberally sprinkles botanical and avian references throughout that might distract those who aren't familiar with them and keep the prose from flowing s
I'm a huge fan of Bailey White- She of the quavery voice, lunatic mother and great stories. So, way back in 1998, when she came out with her first novel, I was delighted. Then I got the novel, and the delight turned to disappointment. It wasn't that I disliked it a little-- I couldn't even finish it. Nuh-uh. No go. Sorry.

I gave my copy away.

Since then, I have studiously avoided picking it up at book sales and Goodwill when I see it. Now Mama Makes Up Her Mind or Sleeping at the Starlight Motel I
Like a letter that might have been written 30 or 40 years ago, "Quite A Year for Plums" is quiet, deeply connected to place, tender and funny.

The major dramas in the characters’ lives, divorce and death, have taken place off-stage before the book begins. One of the divorced men, Roger, a plant pathologist, is the pivot around which the book turns. Though he speaks little in the book, a quartet of women mostly in their 70s speak often of him, his situation, and his new love interest, Della, a pa
I wanted to like this book a whole lot. It had every promise of quirky/small town/ country life fiction. I was thinking Miss Read. Or possibly Please Don't Eat the Daisies.

Well, it's neither of those, and I did keep thinking "Maybe you have to be from Georgia to get this?" and thinking "well, it is so...spare, and sly, I should be loving this".

But I didn't love it. I knew I was supposed to love it. I knew I was supposed to chuckle a bit at the odd people and feel like "wow, they are eccentric, b
Aug 25, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White was an enjoyable read for me. I impulsively picked it up at the library’s display shelf without having heard of it before. This book was a quick read, with short chapters that moved the book along well.
There is an eclectic group of characters in this book ranging from Rodger a peanut expert, to two retired school teachers, to Louise who has dementia and believes in spacemen. Luckily, the author provides a ‘cheat sheet’ of characters at the beginning of th
Tom Franklin
I loved Bailey White's two books about her mother and their relatives. Those books were filled with distinct personalities, humor, and purpose.

Quite a Year for Plums is filled with characters, occasional humor, but, sadly, no real purpose.

I suppose a book could get away without having a plot if the characters were strong enough to carry the reader through the pages, but that wasn't the case here. There are a lot of characters here, but none are given the chance to sufficiently sway the actions
Mar 16, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gardening-theme
It is a collection of Southern personalities who dwell in intertwining short stories, each chapter strong enough to stand alone but like a garden, creating a series of interconnected rooms we wander through, admiring, learning from, and smiling with. I particularly like the woman who believes the aliens are coming and using road signs to communicate finds an affinity with a husband of one of the summer visitors who is a type setter. He discovers someone who can really talk to him about the wonde ...more
Oct 24, 2013 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, I love an NPR contributor, but I didn't and I won't be recommending it to friends. (I don't know that I'll say "don't," but I'll raise my eyebrows in warning. There was not really a plot, and any story that may have started to unfold in an interesting manner was then resolved very in a very u satisfying way: then he packed up and moved back to Kansas; the she went to Australia, randomly, with the first the reader learning about the move after it has happened.

The char
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Bailey White was born in 1950 in Thomasville, Ga. She still lives in the same house in which she grew up, on one of the large tracts of virgin longleaf pine woods. Her father, Robb White, was a fiction writer and later a television and movie script writer. Her mother, Rosalie White, was a farmer, and worked for many years as the executive director of the local Red Cross Chapter. She has one brothe ...more
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