Plain Language

General Fiction

By Barbara Wright

Publisher : Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

ABOUT Barbara Wright

Barbara Wright
I have published two novels.  PLAIN LANGUAGE (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) is a love story about two strangers who meet and start a ranch on the Colorado Plains during the Dust Bowl.  EASY MONEY (Algonquin Books) is about a woman whose father gambles away her college money and goes t More...



A love story about two strangers who marry and start a ranch on the Colorado Plains during the Dust Bowl.

Elizabeth Jensen, a Quaker rancher who started a ranch on the Colorado Plains during the Dust Bowl, was the inspiration for my novel Plain Language. When I started interviewing her, she was in her mid-90s and I was half a century younger. I went to her study to fetch a large box of memorabilia, and she tried to wrest it from me, saying, "Let me get that. You'll hurt your back."

5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written,
By Deb Sanders (Jackson, Wyoming United States) -
I couldn't wait to pass this book on to everyone I know--it's beautifully written and very moving. This author gives a very convincing story of 2 people who get to know each other thru hardship and hard work. Also very moving is the story between Viginia and her brother and also his relationship with another woman--portrayed very well and lovingly. The Quaker ideals are nicely woven throughout and add to the beauty of this story. Read this and feel peaceful.............

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Language,
By "disheveledprofessor" (the home of the Blue Angels) -
Barbara Wright's novel of life on the Colorado prairie during the Depression is a beautiful book, well-crafted and sensitive. The title, Plain Language, is a play on words: the heroine, Virginia, is a Quaker and so we have the idea of "plain speaking"; Virginia and her husband 
Alfred are simple people, hardworking and not given to flights of fancy, communicating indeed in plain language. Wright's skill is apparent in the fact that Virginia and Alfred meet one disaster after another and yet the reader feels sustained, not drained. Many readers may be startled at how "plain" and filled with drudgery life was in the still-living past -- and yet how spirit-sustaining. 

The themes of this book include: the importance of communicating in developing relationships; the love we deprive ourselves of by making judgments; the value of hard work in developing self-esteem. Toward the end of the novel, Alfred reflects to himself "... somewhere along the way you realize the achievement is not the goal itself -- the achievement is the person you've become in trying to reach the goal." 

I highly recommend this novel.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book,
By Sunshine Girl (California) - 
I read this book a few years ago and have just stared to read it again. A touching story about the west and the relationship between newlyweds that struggle to run a ranch during the dust bowl. The characters have difficult lives, but learn to find peace with their place in the world. 

Plain Language won an award from the Western Writer's of America in 2004. I gave the book to a few friends and they all loved it.