Tuesday, July 12, 2011

booktalk tuesday

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan

IndieBound Description: "Did Mama sing every day?"
Caleb asks his sister Anna.
"Every-single-day," she answers.
"Papa sang, too."

Their mother died the day after Caleb was born. Their house on the prairie is quiet now, and Papa doesn't sing anymore. Then Papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from one Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton, of Maine. Papa, Anna, and Caleb write back. Caleb asks if she sings. Sarah decides to come for a month. She writes Papa: I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and Tell them I sing. Anna and Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she like them? Will she stay?

My Thoughts: Such a jewel of a book! It is a slim volume but so lovely. It is a real lesson to authors that when it comes to writing less can be so much more. These days as I struggle with words, I am really in awe of how much story, character and emotion Patricia Maclachlan told by so few words.

4 comments:

lady said...

And the follow up novels are also good. I used to read this with my third graders every year.

The movie is one of the most faithful adaptations I have ever seen. Although Christopher Walken as Jacob is a little creepy, but the kids are good and Glenn Close is spot on.

posse said...

One of my very favorite books.

Jillian said...

My mom loves this book, and I read it a long time ago. I need to read this again. :)

Grace Lin said...

Hmm, I'm going to have to see that movie. Christopher Walken as Jacob is not whom I would've imagined...Glenn Close is good, though.