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Ordinary Grace | [William Kent Krueger]

Ordinary Grace

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.
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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 (1807 )
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4.4 (1628 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 05-04-15
    Jan 05-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Here You Go... One You Won't Want To End"


    In the library of your mind, if you browse through the nostalgic coming-of-age shelf, you will find Ordinary Grace somewhere between "A River Runs Through It" and "Stand By Me."

    William Krueger's writing style is true to the title, as he rewards his readers with graceful prose and stunning imagery in this "slice of life" as told through the eyes of a man looking back 40 years on the timeline of his life.

    The story is one of a small town pastor and his family as their love is challenged by loss, personal secrets, and a murder mystery that serves as the overall catalyst for peace among them.

    The narrator was born to read this story.

    This is a smooth read that kind of just floats along. It's not thrilling or suspenseful, and it's not a page turner..but you will keep turning the pages.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LMcL 03-07-15
    LMcL 03-07-15

    Tiggi Lit Lee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not for adults"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Johnson Walnut Creek, CA USA 02-11-15
    Phil Johnson Walnut Creek, CA USA 02-11-15 Member Since 2008

    #1 Aud Bks: T Help,T Darling, All D Sedaris,Prayer for Owen M.All G Flynn ,Secrt Lang of Bees, Bel Canto, 11/22/63 H2O fr Elephants Dog Star

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great narrator,settings,characters with plot flaws"

    Other reviewers do this book justice. I am not one to usually figure out who-done-its, but I could see a lot of plot twists coming, if not a mile away, at least a quarter mile away.
    A little slow for some tastes, but the narrator is excellent, which made it worth it.

    One plot spoiler:
    As a gay man, I feel a responsibility to point out that, yet again, the one gay character commits suicide. Yes , it was the early 60's in small town Minnesota but this is fiction. It could have been different. And, I could see it coming a mlle away.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jancie Celebration, FL, United States 10-31-14
    Jancie Celebration, FL, United States 10-31-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding in every way!"
    Would you listen to Ordinary Grace again? Why?

    Yes, I would definitely listen to this again just to experience his lyrical prose . I can only say that this author writes in a way that brings every character to life, and makes the reader feel exactly what the character is feeling. What an amazing gift!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jake. I think deep down we all have a little of Jake in us.


    Have you listened to any of Rich Orlow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Never, but he is a narrator of exceptional talent.


    Who was the most memorable character of Ordinary Grace and why?

    Frank, as he was the main protagonist.


    Any additional comments?

    I am now going to start listening to all the Cork O'Conner books! Bravo, Mr. Kent Krueger!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Napp 08-11-14
    James Napp 08-11-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Nothing Ordinary about this Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The depth of character development and the themes explored are worth the investment of time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The themes that are explored are universal in life. The author has a deft touch in exploring these themes and is in touch with the emotions they evoke.


    Have you listened to any of Rich Orlow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and cried at the beauty of the words and the depth of exploration.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore forgiveness and grace. The author knows this subject not just intellectually but personally.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-11-14
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-11-14 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

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    "Evocative Coming of Age Novel"

    More than just a mystery, this coming of age novel examines how people respond so differently when tragedy strikes a small community. While a little slow paced, and not the best at making the mystery a real mystery, the book captures a particular time and place very well, and the ways in which God' grace is present in people's lives

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Silver Spring, MD, United States 03-04-14
    Amazon Customer Silver Spring, MD, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great find. So glad I took a chance."

    I stumbled across this book and I'm so glad I listened. I enjoyed all aspects - the unfolding of the story, the relationship of the 2 brothers, their father's calm steadiness. The narrator did an excellent job in bringing out the characters. I even looked him up on audible to check out other books he narrated. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy METAMORA, IN, United States 12-07-14
    Nancy METAMORA, IN, United States 12-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ordinary Grace was not ordinary!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin West Bountiful, UT, United States 11-27-14
    Robin West Bountiful, UT, United States 11-27-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a jewel"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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