Summary and book reviews of Quite A Year For Plums by Bailey White

Quite A Year For Plums

By Bailey White

Quite A Year For Plums
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  • Hardcover: Jul 1998,
    220 pages.
    Paperback: May 1999,
    220 pages.

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Book Summary

Anyone who has read the best-selling Mama Makes Up Her Mind or listened to Bailey White's commentaries on NPR knows that she is a storyteller of inimitable wit and charm. Now, in her stunningly accomplished first novel, she introduces us to the peculiar yet lovable people who inhabit a small town in south Georgia. Meet serious, studious Roger, the peanut pathologist and unlikely love object of half the town's women. Meet Roger's ex-mother-in-law, Louise, who teams up with an ardent typographer in an attempt to attract outer-space invaders with specific combinations of letters and numbers. And meet Della, the bird artist who captivates Roger with the sensible but enigmatic notes she leaves on things she throws away at the Dumpster ("This fan works, but it makes a clicking sound and will not oscillate").

Heartbreakingly tender, often hilarious, Quite a Year for Plums is a delectable treat from a writer who has been called a national treasure.

Chapter One
Agrisearch

The spring edition of Agrisearch came out with a picture on the front page of Roger standing in the middle of a field holding a peanut plant in each hand. In the distance you could see the irrigation rig behind him, and then the uneven line of trees at the back of the field. The caption said, "U. of Ga. plant pathologist Roger Meadows compares a peanut plant stunted and damaged by the tomato spotted wilt virus (left) with a healthy plant."

For some reason the picture had come out amazingly good in every respect. The frail, sickly plant on the left looked almost weightless, as if it were just hovering between life and death in Roger's tender grasp, while the robust plant on the right seemed aggressively healthy, its dark leaves outlined sharply against Roger's white shirt. The hand holding this plant was slightly lower, as if it were all a strong man could do to support the weight of such vigor.

Roger's friends were all so taken with the picture that ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Library Journal - Shannon Haddock

This is not just for those readers interested in small-town tales but for anyone wishing to enjoy a charming story of human relations. One hopes that White has more novels to come.

Kirkus Reviews

The pages resonate with White's distinctive voice and dazzle with her naturalist's eye for detail, making the strictly episodic nature of this tale less a drawback than a continuation of her familiar storytelling habits.

The San Francisco Chronicle

White will transport readers to that place where the language is languid, the bees hum (if they aren't stinging you) and everybody--in a nice kind of way--is a little bit off kilter.... White falls right into a tradition of Southern storytelling where the humor is dry, sweetness and sadness just naturally mix, and eccentricity is as common as a housefly.

Reader Reviews
Anonymous
Ginny Howard
I mainly want to thank Bailey White for writing this wonderful book. My roots are in middle Georgia, and I felt like I had stumbled upon old friends from a time and a life that now seems lost to me in Atlanta.
I listened to Bailey's ...   Read More

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