The "old fashioned" ideas about faith and kindness that run throughout this story might not appeal to all, but the story is great. The writing is excellent. The characters come to life in a way that makes you miss them when they're gone. I thoroughly enjoyed it and just downloaded one of the mystery series for which the author is really know. Since even the author says that Ordinary Grace was a total departure for him, I am probably going to be disappointed by the mystery, but I am loathe to leave Mr. Krueger behind. Rich Orlow does a phenomenal job reading this story.
Variety...the spice of life! I read a variety of genres. From historical fiction, to murder mystery, to vampires and on to teen fiction.
This story has a setting near Mankato, Minnesota in the 1960's (where I grew up). Krueger steps out of his Cork O'Connor series to write in a bit of a different style here and it doesn't disappoint in the least bit. This story tells the tale (though it could be true) through the eyes of a adolescent boy which offers an interesting and nostalgic perspective that couldn't be achieved by writing it from someone else's perspective. Frank is the son of a Methodist preacher. He is trying to grow up in Southern, MN in the 1960's. As many of us can relate to, there can be a lot of heartaches that go along with that. But for Frankie, it becomes a whole different ballgame of things to deal with besides the normal situations of growing up. There's the issues with each family member (which I won't give away any spoilers) as well as community members. There is also unfortunately a summer of "death" as the reader will state in the beginning of the book (so no spoilers there). You'll quickly become engrossed with the story and you'll relate so well to the boy's telling of it that you won't want to stop listening. The reader does a great job in his performance as well. I hope that Krueger writes another like this, though I love his other series too!
The story will captivate you while pulling at your heart-strings all at once.
Good storyline and easy to listen to narration, the characters with diverse flaws are described as the story entails loss, hope, and faith each deals with limitations, and circumstances detailed throughout the story from the perspective of a young boy and younger brother. You can relate to the Drum family & characters of a small town's experiences with understanding.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I had high hopes for this story based on the positive and generally affectionate reviews from the author’s loyal fans. I was therefore disappointed that in my opinion, the story, while generally good, had some execution flaws that brought it down. The narrative is saturated with similies and metaphors, many of them repeated more than once, that were distracting in their lack of imagination. The dialogue felt self-conscious and stilted, leaning way too often into golly gee “Leave it to Beaver” territory. An editor needed to help delete a few scenes that added nothing to either plot progression or character development (a marriage counseling session for instance). And the narration, while not the fault of the author, was only adequate, especially in the interpretation of the dialogue – generally failing to communicate genuine emotions of the characters.
Regarding the plot, as I said, it was generally good, and I did develop affection for some of the characters, especially Gus, Jake and Dad. There were a couple of characters who seemed to be written as though they had greater impact on the story but then kind of fizzled out red herring style. I figured out the solution very quickly and was impatient with the wrap up. I give it about a 2.5, so I’ll round up to 3 stars, and probably won’t be looking for more from this author.
This remarkable coming of age story is told by 13 year-old Frank Drum. The story moves at a steady and consistent pace. It held my attention until the very end. The story reminded me of "To Kill A Mockingbird" in many ways as it deals with life issues which are impacted by issues of morality or immorality. Frank's father is the town's Preacher so the story has teaching moments throughout. The overall story has a bit of racism, some mental health issues, and religious activities. My favorite scenes were where Frank would hang around corners eavesdropping on adult conversations. The story is well written and well narrated. I recommend.
Engrossing, nostalgic, and well-written. But just three words don't really do this fine novel justice.
I chose Ordinary Grace because I thought it sounded a little like Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon, which is another absolutely wonderful novel. It is like that, at least on the surface – a story about a 13-year-old boy who lives in a small town in Minnesota, and how several deaths, including a murder, affect him and his family. But it’s a much larger story than that; it’s about family, love, life, God, and “God’s awful grace” (a quote from Aeschylus), plus ordinary grace as referred to in the title. It's not a story about religion, though.
Rich Orlow was the perfect choice as narrator; his flat, Midwestern accent is perfect, and he gives each character – males, females, and a wide variety of ages – distinctive and very believable voices.
It's possible that a movie could be made of this book, but I'm doubtful any film would be anywhere as good, so I'm content if no one makes one.
I absolutely loved this Audible title -- perhaps more than if I had simply read it -- and I will definitely listen to it again at some point.. Highly recommended.
Rich Orlow does a wonderful job in his telling of this tragic summer in the life of a minister's family. Two boys become men, when too many deaths seem to be connected and when one strikes their own, secrets become unraveled and suspects abound. Frank tells the story of how his family copes, each in their own way, as he deals with having maybe made too many wrong choices putting peoples lives at risk.
A tale of suspense, murder, growing up, humor, and love. For fans of Cork O'Conner, this story is sure to please, as Krueger works his magic of words, keeping interest until the very last page.
...but a very good listen. This book reminds me very much of the movie 'Stand By Me.' It is a coming of age story of a 13 year old boy and his brother, told by his adult self. It took me a while to get past the idea that it wasn't a Cork O'Connor story and listen to it on its own merit. Once I was able to do that, I was fully enveloped in this poignant story of a young boy dealing with family and friends, and life and death in a small town in which he lived for several years. The rich characters and the relationships between them had me coming back to listen, even more than the mystery of who the killer was, which was definitely the secondary story line. If you liked 'Stand By Me' you'll love 'Ordinary Grace.'
I was disappointed by the entirely predictable plot and the unlikely characters. We have the Atticus Finch type father who apparently regrets doing his bit in the war (all former soldiers in this story are deeply scarred), the 'Holy child' brother and the early teens narrator with his 21st-century social values plonked into 1961 smalltown USA, with the occasional glance up at Stand By Me. Then there's the parade of falsely accused suspects drawn from the liberal box-ticker catalogue winding up with a smug veil of forgiveness for the guilty party, telegraphed from fairly early on in the story. There's hardly a single liberal trope left unploughed. The dialogue is wooden and the characters are cardboard saints. It's got the feel of something written by an ageing hippy whose recollection of 1961 is largely reconstructed from a wish list.
Nothing. It's irredeemable. If I hadn't paid so much for it, I wouldn't have let it run so long.
I spent most of the audiobook thinking there was a character called "Emo". Apparently this is Midwestern pronounciation for "Emil", so it's legit, but a bit confusing. Otherwise, narration was OK.
New-age Christians will love it.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This book, set in 1961, crept deep into my heart and senses. The story is about Frank and his younger brother, Jake. Their dad is the Methodist minister. They have an older sister, Ariel, a senior in high school, about to go off to college. Their mom, not the typical preacher's wife, spends her days wishing her husband had become the brilliant attorney, his first career choice . . . but who later decided to go to seminary, after he returned home from the war. The small town that they live in, much like Mayberry, changes that summer beginning with the death of a small boy . . . and then things begin on a course of pain and change that will haunt and cut their family and the townspeople to the core . . . and threaten all they believe in. This story is their path through that . . . and it is an amazing, tearful, frightening journey, bringing one face to face with all the best and the worst in the people . . . and teaching two young boys about true grace.