I finished Ken Haruf’s Plainsong for my book club.
What an uplifting read.
Wrote a short review at my Library Thing:
I’ve not read many American books, most of which were thrillers/murder mysteries, so Kent Haruf’s Plainsong allowed me a peek Americana that had me turning pages deep into the night.
It may not be an easy book for a non-American to digest. Those with little to no experience of cowherds or Americana or are not fans of Westerns, may find the setting a little dry or the parts about the old cowboys working with heifers uninteresting, but Haruf is a very gentle storyteller, who writes as though words are little precious stones, picking only the right ones, and not too many, to say what he needs to say.
The dialogue in Plainsong isn’t punctuated. Not sure why but it was, at first, a little hard to follow. And yet, the voices soar and lift up the story (or stories), giving depth to each of the characters. I feel as though I now know how a horse autopsy is done 50 years ago, or the confusion faced by a pregnant teenager. It is remarkable how Haruf is able to breathe life into such a diverse set of characters.
An excellent read, of just the right length.