Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Plainsong" by Kent Haruf

The McPheron brothers think they know nothing about young girls. Is that the case? Has their solitary life close to the earth handicapped them so far as human relations go, or has it, in fact, provided them with hidden advantages?
For an interview with the author, Kent Haruf, check out the following link:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked the book, enjoyed the characters and would highly recommend it to my friends. Only a couple of puzzling issues….read below.

All the characters were “enchanting” almost like a Masterpiece theater presentation. Very interesting how the characters do not speak directly but their dialogue is represented through the author’s narration. Also, although the author does not go to any great lengths to describe the details of each character’s personality or even physical characteristics, you get a clear picture of each one as they develop in each chapter through their actions and interactions.

The plot is interesting and the situations are very real, as each character struggles with his or her own crisis, decisions and resolutions. Even the “Mom” is not totally without charm as she struggles between her own “illness” (depression?) and her love for her two sons.

The story seems to end too soon and not all issues are resolved. But even without a sequel, you are free to create your own outcomes for each of the characters based on what you know of their personalities.

The McPheron brothers were my favorites. The brothers seem all gruff and rough on the exterior, but turn out to be loving, warm and caring on the inside. I believe they gave Victoria a second chance at life by caring and accepting her as she was. Ike and Bobby are lovable and you want to hug them and tell them all would be fine at the end. I think they grow and mature more than any of the other characters at the end of the book when they take care of Victoria’s little baby. Too bad they took up smoking, but everyone else in the story seem to do it regularly.

My puzzling issues: What was the horse autopsy all about??? It was a bit gory and didn’t seem to add anything to the story. Was it there just to add more tragedy and sorrow? And what about Mrs. Stearns (the old lady Ike and Bobby befriend who later dies)? Was she a substitute mother for them, or grandmother, maybe? Did they go visit her out of their loneliness and need?

Oh well, thanks for sharing this book with us, I really enjoyed it! Please wish the ladies a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for me, you also. I will see you all in January, I hope!