Plainsong Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Plainsong

The author presents characters caught up in the struggle for happiness in a rural setting. Guthrie, a high-school teacher, has to face his wife's depression and her desire to separate from him. Their boys, Ike and Bobby, aged nine and ten, have to accept their mother's leaving them. Victoria Robideaux, a pregnant teenager, deserted by her boyfriend, and thrown out of her mother's house, must find a means of survival on her own.
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    Maggie Jones, the high-school guidance counselor, in love with Guthrie, finds Victoria sanctuary with two elderly brothes living on a remote farm.
    The precarious status quo is upset when the boys accidentally witness a rape in a deserted homestead, and are kidnapped and molested by the high-school toughs. Guthrie, enraged by the attack, is arrested as he confronts the boys' tormentors in their own home. Victoria's boyfriend returns and lures her from the elderly brother's home. How these characters resolve their difficulties is told in simple, yet lyrical language, resulting in a compelling novel that has universal appeal.
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson

Chapter Analysis of Plainsong

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Wife Kind of sex:    -   rape    -   molestation Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   Momma gone Taboo sex story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   thief/con artist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   9 () Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   farm    -   lot of descript of animal care

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of anatomy    -   Boob talk!    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Kent Haruf Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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