Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Hardcover, 320 pages
Atria Books, March 26, 2013
“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family— which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother— he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.
Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
What a great story. I loved getting lost along the river and railroad tracks. I imagined a simpler, quieter and more innocent time during childhood. As the deaths start happening in the story the more you realize that the innocence is slowly disappearing, and the veil over the town is being pulled off to show the darker/broken side of the people within it. The growing up that Frank and his brother do during this summer is the true story. They have to deal with a lot of grown up things that they had never been exposed to before. The innocence lost during this period shapes how they will be in the future.
This is a coming of age story and a murder mystery wrapped up in one truly entertaining and gripping tale. Krueger has written a wonderful novel that will please readers of his Cork O'Conner series and new ones as well.
Source: Publisher for review
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