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Ordinary Grace Audiobook

Ordinary Grace

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“Krueger aims higher and hits harder with a stand-alone novel that shares much with his other work.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3547 )
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4.5 (3227 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 04-14-13
    Susan Bartonville, TX 04-14-13 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.

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    "Beautifully written....Wow"
    Any additional comments?

    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. 

    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 03-17-15
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 03-17-15 Member Since 2015

    retired writer

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    "Beyond Ordinary ~ Coming of Age Murder Mystery"

    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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg 09-10-16
    Meg 09-10-16

    Quack!

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    "Average and predictable"
    Any additional comments?

    I saw this book described as a "coming of age" story and I suppose it is that. However, I felt like I was listening to a poor copy of other authors' more engaging and more original "coming of age" stories. The result is that I felt like I was ingesting a twinkie instead of the cheesecake I was hoping for.
    This book is well written. But I feel that the content, conflicts, and themes have been done to death in so many other books that this book just didn't do anything for me. I can certainly understand it's appeal to others, but I felt bored by it.
    The narration is well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 06-08-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Very Ordinary"

    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.

    27 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Hall 11-22-13
    Jim Hall 11-22-13 Member Since 2016

    closed captioner

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    "A gem of a story, extremely well told"
    If you could sum up Ordinary Grace in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing, nostalgic, and well-written. But just three words don't really do this fine novel justice.


    What other book might you compare Ordinary Grace to and why?

    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.


    What does Rich Orlow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this 01-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Tragic story, told beautifully"

    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.

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie-Jean Framingham, MA, United States 03-28-13
    Bonnie-Jean Framingham, MA, United States 03-28-13
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    "NOT a Cork O'Connor book..."
    Any additional comments?

    ...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.'

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 03-05-15
    Jan 03-05-15 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Not ordinary at all - -"

    Missed this book when it first came out, so glad I found it. It's told in the voice of Frank Drum...an adult looking back at 1961, the summer he was 13... a small town preacher's son figuring out who he is and what he believes... as the town reels from multiple deaths.

    This book has the feel of Enger's "Peace Like a River," Grisham's "A Painted House," Burns' "Cold Sassy Tree" and"Doig's "The Whistling Season" ... all books I loved. It's rich with people I have met, dealing with the imperfections of their own and others... of families falling apart and growing stronger.

    There is real life and hard topics addressed as seen through Franks young mind. My kids wouldn't have been ready for this at 13 at all... more like 16 up... bit of sexual content, bit of swearing, lots of loss and complicated relationships... but so uplifting. I'll be back to listen again.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "Disappointing mystery/coming-of-age story"

    I liked the idea of a 1960's coming-of-age story mixed with a mystery. The problem is that this novel did not succeed in either of those areas. Very little happened in the first half of the novel. References to Brillcream, Risk, and Gunsmoke were not enough to make that golden era of childhood come alive, and I am from that generation! The characters and world were not interesting enough for that to work without more plot. Frank is the 13 year-old protagonist, who lives with a younger brother who stutters (and gets bullied), an older sister, and his parents, a minister, and a mother unhappy being the wife of a minister. The big mystery occurs halfway through the novel, when a major character disappears. The story picked up at that point. It moved from a 2-star to a 3-star book then. A good reader helped, too. This novel felt like something I had read many times in the past. I might have liked it more had it seemed fresher to me. Ultimately, it did provide a pleasant way to pass the time, but not much more.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13 Member Since 2013

    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.

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    "A town and a time like Mayberry"

    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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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