Plainsong This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Inthe small community of Holt, Colorado, Guthrie, a high-school teacher, is raisinghis sons Ike and Bobby alone because their mother needs time to recuperate frommental illness. Victoria, a pregnant teenager whose mother is unwilling to haveher in the house, has nowhere to go. Out in the countryside, the elderly McPheronbrothers keep on farming, the only world they've ever known.

The maincharacters of Plainsong span four generations of rural folk. The novel detailsthe problems they face and how they come together to solve them. All thecharacters struggle, but their caring, kindness, and forgiving spirits help themsupport one another.

Considered by many to be an American masterwork,Plainsong is one of the best contemporary novels written in the last five years.Readers can learn about non-traditional families, small towns where everyoneknows everyone's business, and the power of love.

We are introduced to aworld that is atypical for most teenagers. Guthrie is struggling to find balancein a family without a mother figure; his marriage has been difficult for the pastfew years and there are signs of a divorce. The boys meet Mrs. Steams, a feebleold woman who tries to fill the role of female figure in theirlives.

Victoria discovers that the country homestead of the McPherons willbe her new home and accepts the idea of living with them. She and the twobrothers adjust to one another and form a family unit none has knownbefore.

This novel is breathtaking and unique, due to Haruf's ability toweave together the stories of seven ordinary individuals facing life'schallenges. He is able to tie together the many happenings of a small communityby bringing these characters to life. Their commitment to caring for each otheris inspiring. Not only are characters like Mrs. Steams and the McPherons examplesof Good Samaritans, they're role models for all.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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