Josiah's Reviews > Sarah, Plain and Tall

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
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's review
Apr 25, 2011

it was ok
Read on April 25, 2011

In one of the shortest books—only fifty-eight pages in most editions—to ever win the Newbery Medal, Patricia MacLachlan takes the raw elements that make up a potential new family and gives us a rare, important glimpse into the wonder of those first few days and weeks that the nascent family spends together.

Anna and her brother, Caleb, have lived alone with their father since the day that their mother died after giving birth to Caleb. Their little family of three is good, but Anna and Caleb need more than just a father to help them grow, and their father needs a wife. He tries to bring a solution to their dilemma one day by putting out an ad asking for some nice woman to consider coming to be the new mother and wife that the family needs.

Sarah, a woman who had lived with her brother by the sea, happens to be the one to answer the call. Sarah is willing to come for a month and see if living with the family could work out, but moving from a house by the majestic sea to the grassy plains of the country where Anna and her family reside is not an easy change. Anna and Caleb come to love Sarah almost from the start, but it's clear that she deeply misses the life she left behind and the kinship with the rolling sea that she enjoyed on a regular basis. Will her new relationship with Anna, Caleb and their father be strong enough yet to hold her there, or is her longing for the sea just something that cannot be ignored, no matter how much she may have come to care for her new family?

Fans of Patricia MacLachlan's surpassingly lovely writing should not miss reading Sarah, Plain and Tall, undoubtedly her most famous story. It may not take long to read, but it packs some power for such a brief volume. I would give two and a half stars to this book.


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04/25/2011 page 3

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