By: Kent Haruf
This book is a good read.
It had been a while since I’d read any sort of leisure reading; most of what I’ve been doing has been classics, children’s books, or books that deal with really intense social issues.
So while Plainsong isn’t really a light-hearted novel, it definitely reminded me to step back and appreciate reading for reading.
There’s a lot in this novel. It follows multiple different characters whose storylines all intersect. It’s set in the remote town of Holt, Colorado, and deals with small-town life in general. It’s very compelling; it covers a host of social issues like teen pregnancy, divorce, the education system, bullying, farm life, dementia.
But it’s never too much.
You don’t feel particularly happy, but you’re not sobbing either.
And that’s why I knocked this book down to a 3.5 instead of a 4. Not because it’s not beautifully written; not because it doesn’t have a fantastic plot; not because it feels cheap. But just because you don’t have to invest much into it.
Which is great, if you’re like me, and you’re just trying to take a step back and remember why you fell in love with books in the first place.
But it’s kind of forgettable, in my opinion.
It’s good, don’t get me wrong. And I think everybody can get a little something out of it. In fact, I think it would be a great book to teach, because so many of the characters are rooted in the arbitrary world of high school. But it’s not going to blow you out of the water.
And, you know, sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
If you liked Plainsong, check out these novels:
The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas
Separate But Equal by Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz
Storming Heaven by Denise Giardina