by Kent Haruf is one of my favorite books. Haruf captures the spirit and life of a
farming community in Colorado perfectly.
In winning the National Book Award, Plainsong was described as “a novel of wisdom and grace”. Tom
Guthrie’s wife is living a life of blue Mondays. Unable to defeat the miasma of despair
defining her life, she moves out leaving Tom alone to raise their two boys.. A bully at the school where Tom teaches
menaces his sons, and causes heartbreak.
The bachelor brothers, Raymond and Harold, know cows. They are comfortable with all things bovine;
know them, like them, and understand them. Young women are an alien species to
the old bachelors. But this is a farming
community, a place where people know each other’s business and pull together;
the brothers have a huge reservoir of kindness.
When a pregnant 17 year old girl needs a home, they take her in and do
their best to make her welcome. As the
lives of the characters intersect, Haruf writes with such perfect harmony you
will feel transported to this Colorado farming community and when you reach the
last page you will be sad the story ended, it is that good. An excellent story told with compassion and