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Book of the Week #13- Sarah, Plain And Tall



Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan

     Sarah, Plain and Tall is the story of Jacob Witting, a widowed Iowa farmer who is a father to two children, Anna and Caleb. He places an ad in the paper to find a wife and receives a response from Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton, a native of Maine who loves cats. As Sarah corresponds with Jacob and his two children through letters, they make plans for Sarah to visit Iowa. Sarah tells them that as they meet for the first time, they will know who she is because she is "plain and tall."
    This book was written in the 1990's after Patricia MacLachlan had published the book, Arthur For The Very First Time. It is a companion book to Arthur..., Arthur's great-aunt being Anna in Sarah, Plain and Tall. It's a pretty short book, less 100 pages, but its jam packed. I love the writing in this book. When you read the summary, you automatically think it's going to be like the Little House on the Prairie books, and in a way, it is similar, but ultimately, it's a lot different. MacLachlan's writing style is much different from Ingalls-Wilder's. There's a feeling to it that I really enjoy, making this book a little bit quirky compared to its peers.
   I picked this up for a dime on a thrift store trip with my grandmother when I was sixteen. Lots of times I'd buy books I'd never read as long as they cost less than a dollar, thinking if I didn't like them, I could just re-sell them or donate them to my local library. I wound up really liking Sarah, Plain and Tall, though.  I had heard of it all my life, but I had never read it. It's a nice story, whether you're eight or eighty, I feel. If you like historical fiction, I would definitely recommend this to you. It's a very sweet story, set in a time period I love, but has a different feel than most historical fiction, probably partly due to the fact that it was written in the 1990's. 
    All in all, I think this is a great story and would recommend it to anyone.

I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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