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)
This was an interesting and rewarding read. The preacher and his family were real people with the same problems as the rest of the world. The struggles of the boys reflected the issue we face either as children or adults. The question is what are you going to do with the consequences of your decisions.
I loved this coming of age story. Told in retrospect... A man recalls the tragic events of one summer of his boyhood that would forever alter the man he was to become. Not a fast paced book but a book to savor. Reminds me somewhat of "Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy... also one of my favorite books.
Family, secrets, grace
The characters were completely believable, not-one dimensional. Beautiful writing and the narrator did a fine job with children, women and all the male characters.
The opening scene, it set the mysterious tone of the whole book. What would happen next? What really DID happen? Love that in a story.
I have never read the author's series books, but I loved this title so much. Reminded me of the simple speech of To Kill A Mockingbird - some of the same big themes, as well. Highly recommend!
This is a book that was enhanced by the wonderful narrator. He did a superb job. At the end of the book, the author mentions that he thinks the book would be improved by being read aloud, and he is correct. The book is wonderfully written and the author evokes a time and place long gone in America. The characters are people I really cared for and the sorrow that comes to them in the story really moved me. I wished I could read a book just like it when it was finished.
For a book that has a thread of mystery that pulls you through the pages, the author didn't skimp on character development. It ticked all the boxes - gripping plot, solid character development, distinct voices, a tangible setting. I also enjoyed that it took place in a preacher's home - and the dimension that added to it.
This book reminded me of "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" and "Chiefs" - not only because it was set in the recent past, but also because the mystery was supported by well developed characters.
...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.'
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.
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 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.
a book of internal thoughts by the son of a minister. plot = typical life events that are only new to the very sheltered. could be supportive for children going through loss. unsatisfying for thoughtful adults.
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