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—her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house— ...more
Colorado High Plains, image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...
Peek between the gaps to appreciate the pared-down beauty of this book. At its heart, is absence: the words not used, the thoughts not made explicit, the loved-ones left or lost, the open space in which it is set.
The language is plain, utilitarian, and unsentimental, as are the situations described in the short chapters.
There is no backstory, there are no inner monologues - indeed, most of the characters say lit ...more
As a result of this personality trait, it follows that I don't like BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, loads!!!!!!!! of exclamation marks, or all kinds of emphasis, bejewelling and explana ...more
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 cat ...more
Thanks to all the good Goodreads friends who kept recommending this book to me.
Especially the relationship and love between the gentle old farmer brothers Harold and Raymond McPheron and the young and pregnant Victoria, who they take into their home after her mother cast her out, is heartfelt.
Wonderful writing, beautiful scenery... Great story.
I like the description on the back cover: A novel of haunting beauty, Plainsong explores the grace and hope of every human ...more
Set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado in the real life eastern plains of that Rocky mountain state, and adjacent to the great elevations, author Kent Haruf’s somber 1999 novel Plainsong explores the interconnected lives of a group of people living and dying in this western plains town.
Guthrie is a high school teacher raising two young boys and whose marriage is coming to a strange and murky end. Tom Guthrie is a simple western man, ...more
In the small community of Holt, Colorado, Tom Gurthie, a high school history teacher ...more
Holt, Colorado in the 1980’s
Great characters, many with personal problems to work through.
Tom Guthrie..a schoolteacher with two young boys to bring up who has a wife incapacitated by depression.
Victoria...a 17 yr old schoolgirl who gets kicked out of her home by her mother when she becomes pregnant.
The McPheron brothers (my favorite) two elderly men who’ve never been married and live together on their farm and agree to take in the pregnant Victoria to live with them.
Like beading three kombolóia (strings of "worry beads" used in Greek culture), Kent Haruf weaved together three story threads, tight and tranquil, to bring honor to seven residents of fictional Holt, a small town on the Colorado high plains east of Denver, and their bonding together in three types of love, the familial, the philia and agape, to hurdle the predicaments life throws their way.
Haruf wrote in such quiet, dulcet prose that reading his novels is calming, therap ...more
The story moves between different characters, and the chapters are named after the characters being followed. It is always very clear where you are! ...more
Trying to think of one word to describe this book – I would say “Brooding”.
After about twenty pages I decided this was a book I needed to read slowly and deliberately. It was a slow burning, moody piece of work which made me feel. For what this book lacks in dialogue, it makes up for in atmosphere, space and anticipation.
There’s only a handful of characters, each wonderfully portrayed by the author. My favourites were poor little Victoria Roubideaux and the McPherons.
The characters draw the reader in slowly until you start to really care for them and worry about what is going to happen to them. This story portrays small town life in Colorado and a ...more
Something else about the simplicity of the language--I can't recall a single time that Haruf directly s ...more
It is a touching story, written in plain language, which has two central plots. In one, two young boys and their teacher father come to terms with the wife/mother's decisio ...more
His prose is simple, yet so beautiful and paints such a vivid picture. His characters are earthy, there is no pretense about them, they are everyday people living ordinary ...more
Why a totally ...more
The two wacky and wonderful old brothers who readily welcome a 17 year old (pregnant) teen into their home captured my heart early on as well as the two young curious brothers, abandoned by their mother, who befriend a lonely old woman, experience some pretty hard knocks and learn some facts of life by peering thru the window of an abandoned old shed.
While Our Souls...more
I didn't realize how invested I was in the characters and their stories, until the author dangles their safety and lives in front of me and I find myself reading in a frenzy to ensure that everything is ok. Sneaky, sneaky.
Holt, Colorado is a small town; seemingly everybody knows everybody and everybody's business. Couple of mundane, typical stories slowly thread themselves into your heart and realize that you've come to love each and every one of them in ...more
Kent Haruf writing style leaves a lot to be desired. It drives me crazy when authors don't use quotation marks when characters are talking but Kent Haruf story drew me in immediately, even without the quotation marks! His storytelling is reminiscent of Willa Cather, whom I adore!
Great story and lovable ch ...more
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