Here was this man Tom Guthrie in Holt standing at the back window in the kitchen of his house smoking cigarettes and looking out over the back lot where the sun was just coming up. New York Today, Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company. Job Market | I have to see Lloyd Crowder about somebody. 2. What are its limitations, its disadvantages, and what are its strengths? On the first page, we are told that a plainsong is, " ... Ella, has not only ceased to love him, she's also ceased being very much of this world. But you shouldn't worry. He went downstairs. Plainsong Something to do with school. They watched their father out of identical blue eyes. Plainsong depicts some unusual "family" groups. Keep the conversation going, share what you're reading, and more: Choosing Books and Organizing Great Meetings, Author Chats: Enter for the chance to win a call from an author, Group Talk: Read Tips from other book clubs and share your own ideas, Best Books for Reading Groups: What We're Reading, The Plot Against America (Movie Tie-in Edition). Classifieds | 9. Plainsong Summary and Study Guide. Why do they place their mother's bracelet on the train tracks, then bury it? What meaning, or meanings, does the title have in relation to Haruf's story and characters? What parallels can you draw between the McPheron brothers and the young Guthrie boys? Is there any indication that they connect Iva's death with their mother's abandonment? Unable to cope, she abandons her family to live in Denver with her sister. She and her husband have two children, Ike and Bobby. 6. The shades Ike said. Plainsong By KENT HARUF Knopf. Ella Guthrie is Tom Guthrie's wife. It'll be all right. He looked up again. The book opens with Tom Guthrie going through his morning routine; it is also an awakening to the emptiness of his life. The McPheron brothers and Guthrie are outside discussing business, and Bobby and Ike are watching Victoria’s daughter. She folded her arm across her face and lay unmoving as though asleep. Then he got into the pickup and cranked it and drove out of the drive onto Railroad Street and headed up the five or six blocks toward Main. Do they find what they are seeking? By the time you get done with your papers you'll be late for school. Site Search | Real Estate | Weather | How does Haruf repeat some character traits in his novels and to what effect? The sun was higher, the light beginning to slide down the ladder of the windmill, brightening it, making rungs of rose-gold. Why do you have to go to school so early? What is the effect of Haruf's style in each and use of language on the reader? Here, it was completely incredible. Content includes books from bestselling, midlist and debut authors. What examples of parents abandoning children--either by desertion, emotional withdrawal, or death--can be found in this novel? How are the characters in each of the novels completely believable and different? 12. she lay in bed in the darkened guest room sleeping or not and went down the hall to the glassy room over the kitchen where the two boys were. He stopped for a minute to listen. As the story closes a new and very strong family unit is reported. They had stopped eating altogether and were staring out the window toward the barn and corral where the two horses were. 5. In what way does it affect the characters' relationships with one another? How does such "craziness" affect the lives of young people such as Victoria, Ike, and Bobby? How does the small town of Holt figure as a character in each novel? Automobiles | Arts | 1. "These are crazy times," Maggie Jones says. How do the three teenagers having sex in the abandoned house inform and affect Ike and Bobby? National/N.Y. Forums | In Holt, Colorado, Tom Guthrie readies his young children, Ike and Bobby, for school and checks in on his sleeping wife, Ella, before leaving for work. Services | He watched their faces, standing at the foot of the bed in his bathrobe. (C) 1999 Kent Haruf All rights reserved. About the relationships and power struggle between men and women? That's because you don't go to bed at night. What sort of a marriage did Tom and Ella have, and what made it go wrong? If so, what are they? When he stepped into the room How do the characters and the image of the town change from book to book? They sat down at the wood table by the window. 10. Maggie and Victoria have been cooking a Memorial Day feast. It was a slow burning, moody piece of work which made me feel. What does this sight tell them about sex? Kent Haruf’s Plainsong makes some very pointed observations about family, and how the definition of family has evolved in our modern society. Haruf reveals another ineffective parent in the form of Victoria Roubideaux’ mother. What is ironic is that this situation would never happen in the conservative rural community that Haruf used as a basis for the fictional Holt. International | fall and not yet cold. I have to go to school early this morning, he said. It's not this way today, but it sure was 30 yrs ago. Do you think they will marry and have families? What help does it provide for people who need healing, like the characters in this book? Bobby said. Though there was a year between them they might have been twins. The McPheron brothers are enlisted by Maggie to become a family for Victoria. Some boy saying this and this too and another How does Haruf repeat some character traits in his novels and to what effect? It doesn't have anything to do with you. him the pickup lifted a powdery plume from the road and the suspended dust shone like bright flecks of gold in the sun. Site Index |