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on March 25, 2000
When I began the audio edition of this book, I was taken aback by Bailey White's whispery, "old lady" voice, which still surprises me. But in short order it became clear that her voice and her fictional world blended perfectly and only added to the beauty of the tale. I may, of course, as a long-time resident of Tallahassee, FL, be biased, but I was charmed by the eccentric backwoodsiness of the book's characters. We come to know the bird artist who throws out her possessions as an inspiration to her painting; the fan-man, to whom a 1910 GE electric fan represents perfection; the typographer, who values the juxtaposition of letters more than his wife; Roger, the peanut expert whose portrait between two peanut plants is a recurring theme in the book; and of course the several charming old ladies whose knowledge of south Georgia flora and fauna is encyclopedic. But none of these brief descriptions really give the rich, delicious flavor of the world in which all these folk live. Any one of these characters would enrich an ordinary book. To find them all in one place is extraordinary.

This slim volume has been criticized for lack of plot, but I think the plot is rich and deep. It is not, however, a dramatic, fast-paced, "page turner" type plot. Rather, we are given a glimpse into one year in the life of an extraordinary community. When the year is ended, life in the community goes on, no better and no worse than before, but unfortunately, without an audience to drink it in.
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on January 31, 2008
I have no idea why those who say they "love Bailey White's NPR pieces" do not "get"this book and dish out harsh criticism and/or call it boring.

This book is for those who love language, quirkyness, and storytelling that is creative and out of the box. Yes, it's true...there is not "neat and tidy" ending or compelling plot line...but Bailey White paints word pictures that are so beguiling and so rich in their own unique slant of light that this alone makes it worth the time for me. She does what she does best: paint word pictures of the lives of real people (who among us is not our own type of oddball?). This book is a string of delightful, poignant, wonderfully crafted vignettes. And I consider my life richer for having read them.

Those who demand more of Bailey White don't (in my opinion) understand her gifts.
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on January 2, 2015
Poor character development, I was half way through the book before I began to know them well enough to be able to stop referring back to the character list to remember how each one fit into the story. It does have some country humor and some endearing characters. There are a surprising number of editing errors.
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on August 27, 1998
Not what I hoped for; certainly not what I expected from the glowing reviews, nor from my previous experiences with Ms. White's writing. The characters are confusing to sort out (any non-Russian novel which begins with a character list should immediately be suspect), not simply because of their sound-alike names but because they are all so equally flat that no one character ever distinguishes itself from another in the reader's mind. Ms. White is a superior essayist, and unfortunately, has written this novel as if it, too, were a series of essays. No character development, no plot to speak of and no one to care about by the end of the book. Quite a Year For Plums is a lemon.
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on August 22, 2016
Hard book to get into and hold the readers interest. No one in our book club liked the book.
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on June 18, 2014
Please print the list of characters provided at the beginning of this book, use the list to become familiar with Ms. White's people. Each of her characters is a jewel, but it takes keeping them in order to appreciate this wonderful story.
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on September 3, 2015
The book was well written and enjoyable in some parts....It just wasn't my cup of tea...I guess the lack of a more coherent plot os what I missed.
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on April 14, 2016
Very good book. Enjoyed the characters very much. Entertaining and light reading.
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on July 31, 2016
Bailey White is now one of my favorite authors!
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on July 30, 2015
Just an endearing little story to read on a summer day. Pleasant and well-written. Love this author.
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