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Plain Language: A Novel Paperback – April 2, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Ursula Hegi author of Stones from the River An exceptional novel about the power of memory and desire.

Robert Morgan Gap Creek and This Rock Barbara Wright's novel is vivid, intense, memorable, told with Quaker plainness and depth, a story of courage, passion for the land, fierce loyalties and growth, enduring. It is an authentic addition to the literature, the poetry, of our West.

Art Corriveau author of Housewrights The West brought hauntingly to life. This human-scale love story of an unlikely family's struggle with love, loyalty, and loss seems all the more epic when set against the immense backdrop of Colorado prairie and sky.

About the Author

Barbara Wright, a novelist and screenwriter,
lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original ed. edition (April 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743230205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743230209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,790,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Sanders on June 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I couldn't wait to pass this book on to everyone I know--it's beautifully written and very moving. This author gives a very convincing story of 2 people who get to know each other thru hardship and hard work. Also very moving is the story between Viginia and her brother and also his relationship with another woman--portrayed very well and lovingly. The Quaker ideals are nicely woven throughout and add to the beauty of this story. Read this and feel peaceful.............
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Format: Hardcover
Set back in the doubtful times of our nations past depression,a story primarily about a woman (Virginia) who meets a man she will never forget but finds him again (unexpectedly) later in life. They - Virgina and Alfred- get to know eachother through a series of love letters until the day Virginia receives a letter with an engagement for marriage enclosed. So Virgina moves to Colorado to marry Alfred on his ranch. They get along well but Virgina has to learn how to live and work on a ranch and Alfred is struggling to keep the ranch going through such expiring economical times.
I liked the story and the characters. A good read for anyone interested in westerns or the 1920's - 1930's.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book along with "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls. The two books shared time periods and they were both very interesting. It is not a time that I have read about very often. Enjoyed the book a lot.
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Format: Paperback
Barbara Wright's novel of life on the Colorado prairie during the Depression is a beautiful book, well-crafted and sensitive. The title, Plain Language, is a play on words: the heroine, Virginia, is a Quaker and so we have the idea of "plain speaking"; Virginia and her husband

Alfred are simple people, hardworking and not given to flights of fancy, communicating indeed in plain language. Wright's skill is apparent in the fact that Virginia and Alfred meet one disaster after another and yet the reader feels sustained, not drained. Many readers may be startled at how "plain" and filled with drudgery life was in the still-living past -- and yet how spirit-sustaining.

The themes of this book include: the importance of communicating in developing relationships; the love we deprive ourselves of by making judgments; the value of hard work in developing self-esteem. Toward the end of the novel, Alfred reflects to himself "... somewhere along the way you realize the achievement is not the goal itself -- the achievement is the person you've become in trying to reach the goal."

I highly recommend this novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I liked most about Plain Language was the peek into the historical respect that Quakers have had for women. This is a group that was ahead of its time in terms of believing women were deserving of education and capable of being independent. Good read.
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