Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.
©2013 William Kent Krueger (P)2013 Recorded Books
“Krueger aims higher and hits harder with a stand-alone novel that shares much with his other work.” (Kirkus Reviews)
After a series of great murder mysteries, staring Cork O'Conner, Kruger has come up with a genius of a stand alone coming of age, murder mystery, and trestles on the "awful grace of God".
Our of the best books that I've ever read.
Frank is telling his story some forty years after the actual events that took place during his thirteenth year. In 1961, small town Minnesota, the summer is hot, the people know everything about everyone, and life is good. But this all changes when a young boy is killed while playing on the train tracks. Frank , and his stuttering younger brother, speculate about this tragedy. Their father is the town's Methodist minister, and folks look to him to answer the preverbal question of "Why would God let this happen?".
But that was just the beginning of this momentous summer for Frank, his family, and this small town. There will be three more deaths. An itinerant man is found amongst the weeds, there is a suicide, and finally a murder. Everyone in the town is affected by these tragedies in some way---bringing out the best and the worst in people.
Kruger's writing is filled with wonderful descriptive phrases. His characters will touch your heart in ways that will be difficult to put away after you've finished this book. His specific and thoughtful discussions of God's grace as seen through Frank's eyes will keep you wondering about your own faith. Simply a five, no five times five star read. This book has something for every reader to enjoy!!
This book is beautiful. Just brilliant. It's a mystery that takes place in Minnesota in 1961 with classic literature; very reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird. So much so that I found myself listening to this story in black and white.
A beautiful tale with a 'morals in an immoral world' theme. One of the main characters is a wonderful peaceful father who has to guide his children through the animalistic ways of mankind. The family in this book are that of the town's minister's which lends itself to discussions of religion.
Once started I was completely immersed in each member of this family and all the people that they come in contact with. I plowed through this for I could NOT put this down. Just when I thought I saw a direction this was going - I found myself surprised.
I have never read this author before. If you have, be very careful to read the synopsis carefully for this is a stand alone book. I would be thrilled if this would become a series book though.
Rich Orlow is such an enhancement to this story by giving every character an identity. He does the voice of the deaf, women, men, children, Indians, aristocrats to perfection. What a talent.
I will be looking for this author and narrator other works.
This book works on many levels. It is a mystery story, you won't want to put it down. Most of all Ordinary Grace is an extraordinary work of fiction. It is a coming of age story with themes of family, sorrow, justice, resiliency, forgiveness, and perhaps most of all faith.
If you like any one book of any one of the following authors I think you will like this book: John Irving, Kent Haruf, Leif Enger, Marilynne Robinson, David James Duncan.
Also, I really appreciate when audible adds the author interview after the reading, this one was interesting.
Transformative, gracious and enlightened.
The stuttering younger brother with his down to earth honesty and sensibility.
The fathers sermon after the death of his daughter.
The reader did a magnificent job distinguishing the different characters and lending honesty to the description of people in distress and confusion without ever over dramatizing any one person or event. Well done.
It was a pleasure to listen to.
...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 cannot find the words to express the contemplative quiet this novel invoked in me. As an atheist I usually do not care for themes of faith and especially preaching. This book discusses life's questions against the backdrop of a young man and his family dynamics. However, the story is nicely woven and stands on its own regardless of the deeper thoughts.
Say something about yourself!
It is hard to compare this book with most of the books I have read. It is basically a story of a family in a small town that experiences a terrible tragedy. The characters flow from there. I read a lot of mysteries and some human interest dramas. This is really both and is guaranteed to keep the readers interest.
The plot and character development were excellent. The story is told in the eyes of a boy and is told in a way that feels appropriate. The characters are not perfect. They are human in every way. From the very beginning of the book I was hooked. At no time could I predict the outcome until the very end. I especially appreciate how well the story is read with each voice distinct and real. I should add that spirituality or religion has a large peace in this book but it does not come off preachy. I am not a religious person but this book was not at all offensive in that regard.
No, but I will be watching for him in other books.
If I answered that, I think I would give too much away!
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
A triple mystery and a tragedy that surround a Minnesota family in 1961. A Methodist minister, a Mother who does her best to give her children every opportunity, a beautiful young Daughter getting ready to set off on her own and two young Brothers who are best buddies and full of angst. They live in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business and the mysterious death of a young boy sets all in motion.
This story is a mind provoking reminder of how everything that happens shapes and changes our lives no matter how good or bad, small or large...... Some occurrences change us drastically over night, those life altering changes that none of us, fortunately/unfortunately, are immune too.
The author and narrator made this a wonderful listening experience. This was the first Krueger book I have listened to and it was a touching, rich, beautifully written story. Wonderful to see this story through the eyes of a young man on the verge of manhood and all of the revelations that come along with that metamorphosis.
Rich Orlow does a wonderful job with all the voices of a wide assortment of characters. His pace and timing are right on. One of the better ones in my opinion and I will look for him in other works.
A great mystery. All things have their time: birth, death and rebirth.
Have loved all of William Kent Krueger's books. This one was no exception. The end is predictable but getting there was exquisite. It is a good lesson in keeping hope & faith while undergoing very difficult personal tragedy. Title choice was right on.
I would definitely recommend this book. I knew going in it was not a Cork O'Connor mystery. Althought it was quite different then the other books written by Mr Krueger I enjoyed Ordinary Grace as much if not more !
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