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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 162

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Plainsong is a book that interweaves several different characters into one story. Each one has a way to help another character and, in turn, needs help themselves.

The title can have two different meanings. It can refer to the music of the plains, for one, since the story is set in Colorado on the High Plains. It could also refer to a type of chant or song used in Christian churches. In these songs, one solo singer begins a verse, and then a chorus of people responds to that verse. This relates to the subject of Plainsong in that the stories often involve one person, such as the character of Victoria Roubideaux, going about their storyline, and then another, like Maggie Jones, responding to it.

Victoria is kicked out of her house by her abusive mother, and she goes to Maggie, one of her teachers, for help. This is a call and response kind of action, just as the term "plainsong" implies.