Plain Language

plain_language_barbara_wright_quaker_depression_ranchBarbara Wright is a self-professed greenhorn, but you couldn’t tell from this Depression-era ranch story that encapsulates the hardships of the West through the impassioned struggles and joys felt in the Bowen household.

In moments of such heartfelt emotion, “Plain Language” is spoken—the Quaker usage of “thee” and “thou” to show equality between speakers. When Quaker Virginia Mendenhall marries Alfred Bowen and comes to live on his Colorado ranch, she learns to adjust to its untamed landscape. All along, though, a secret haunts her, which Wright skillfully hints at throughout the novel before its truth is revealed to Alfred.

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