Book #31: Plainsong

Plainsong by Kent Haruf was given to me last Christmas, and I had not previously heard of this author. I finally got around to reading the novel and was pleasantly surprised that his writing falls in the vein of other authors I enjoy, like Wendell Berry and Marilynne Robinson. Plainsong is the story of several intersecting lives in the small town of Holt, Colorado: Tom Guthrie and his two sons, who have been abandoned by their mother; Victoria¬†Roubideaux, a pregnant high-schooler; and the McPheron brothers, two aging bachelors that have always lived alone. Haruf’s writing is rich with poetic descriptions and, though the pace of the story is a bit slow, his characters are complex and deep.¬†As the title suggests, there is nothing extraordinary about the lives Haruf depicts, and yet he is able to draw out the richness found in the unremarkable. My only complaint would be that the story has some graphic scenes I could’ve done without, but I aim to search for some tamer novels by Haruf, if they exist, because I would like to read more by him.

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