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Plain Language    by Barbara Wright order for
Plain Language
by Barbara Wright
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2003 (2003)

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a wonderful story about life on the Colorado prairie in the time of the Depression. If you didn't have access to water, things were tough. Alfred doesn't, and on top of that, he has just married Virginia - a city girl even if she is a Quaker - and so he has double trouble.

Alfred and Virginia have to do a lot of learning. He must forgive himself for his brother's death and learn to understand his father. She must overcome her ignorance of ranch life and have the courage to face her past. Though the drought, Depression and unexpected events make all of this even harder, each never forgets the love that binds them together.

Plain Language's story in another author's hands might have ended up as a fast-read romance. Instead, Barbara Wright has written an insightful look into life at that time, with well-written characters and events that are both plausible and well-researched. This is all the more laudable since the author admits to being 'a complete greenhorn when it comes to horses and cattle.'

Virginia's exposure to the extreme isolation of ranching and the hardships people had to face is enough to make anyone's belief system waver. Yet Virginia's Quaker belief never deserts her, and through her, Wright gives us an insight into how that could be possible. This is a story you will be sorry to see end.

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