Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Classic, in the Best Sense

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan

Classic Fiction

This book is like a Hershey's kiss--it's hard to believe something so small could be so sweet and wonderful.  It is a really fast, really short read but backs the punch of a huge tome.

First in a series, Sarah, Plain and Tall is about a brother and sister duo named Anna and Caleb.  They are very lonely living on the plains with only their father.  They mother died on the day after Caleb was born and they spend much of their time wondering how their life would be different if their mother had lived.  Papa is lonely too and puts an ad in the paper for a new wife.  He gets a reply from Sarah, who describes herself as plain and tall.  After a brief pen pal relationship, Sarah decides to come for a visit to see if she and they might fit together.  Caleb and Anna can hardly wait for her arrival and even Papa seems skittish.  The description of their angst over Sarah is so sweet and really points to the importance of a wife and mother as the fulcrum of a family.

Sarah is a bit of a mystery.  She holds things close to the chest and so obviously longs for the ocean and her home.  The children fall in love with Sarah, but will she love them back and will Sarah and Papa make a love connection?  While this is first in a series, it does have a certifiable ending and can stand on its own as a single story.

McLachlan's writing is more like poetry than prose, so beautifully is the story written.  It won the Newberry and rightly so!  I am not ashamed to say I cried like a baby at the end.  I loved everything about it and am only sad I waited so many years to read it.

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