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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

4.2 (375 )
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4.4 (342 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kitty Reno, NV 01-01-14
    Kitty Reno, NV 01-01-14 Member Since 2002

    I am rarely seen without my headphones on and my iPod clipped on my waist. I love my books.

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    "This is not your typical mystery..."

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, while it is not the typical mystery with the "edge of my seat" excitement, it did involve trying to figure out "who done it."

    The book takes you back to a simpler time. Kids went outside and rode their bikes. They did not play video games all day.

    I purchased this book just because of the author's name, I have all of his " Cork O'Connor" series and enjoyed them all.

    This book entertains and that is why I buy books! Well worth the time and credit. Enjoy!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Frances NJ, United States 12-31-13
    J Frances NJ, United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Quite good!"

    I don't usually choose books of fiction, but with all of the great reviews I had to pick this one. Ordinary Grace is a great listen, a good, although slow moving mystery story about life in a small, quiet town through the eyes of two young brothers which takes place in 1961. I found it a little slow at first, but something kept me listening till the end. It takes many turns and keeps you guessing the answer right to the end. I would definitely recommend and I will start to delve deeper into stories like this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Hall northern virginia 11-22-13
    Jim Hall northern virginia 11-22-13 Member Since 2013

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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 09-14-13 Member Since 2009

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucy Mashpee, MA, United States 08-12-13
    Lucy Mashpee, MA, United States 08-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "So much sadness!"
    What did you love best about Ordinary Grace?

    I really liked this book and LOVED the narrator. It was a book with soooo much sadness but ultimately was a satisfying read. I'd recommend it as long as the overarching sadness isn't too much for you. I have a friend who hated the book but I enjoyed it. Go figure.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-06-13 Member Since 2011

    Jennifer B.

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    "Almost perfect"

    This is a book that makes you want to write one of your own, based on your childhood memories. But you could never do as well as William Kent Kreuger has done here. I was completely immersed in the Minnesota landscape, I could feel the heat and the worry, and the darkness. It's not often that I cry while listening to an audio book, but I cried many times while listening to the extraordinary work.

    The only nit I would pick is that it becomes almost unbelievable that the young hero is always present (through eavesdropping, or overhearing, or circumstance) in all of the key plot developments.

    Go ahead, and buy this one. It's almost perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinna Richmond, TX, USA 06-16-13
    Corinna Richmond, TX, USA 06-16-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Characters are everything"

    He has created a great small town world, and the plot keeps it interesting but the characters are what make this book. The relationship between the boys and their father, and the world seen from Frank's eyes is what kept me reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy United States 04-20-13
    Nancy United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A Beautiful, Sad story Well Told"
    Where does Ordinary Grace rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    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.


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

    No, but I will be watching for him in other books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    If I answered that, I think I would give too much away!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suzanne Costa Mesa, CA, United States 07-14-14
    suzanne Costa Mesa, CA, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2010

    Suzanne, avid reader and listener who loves a broad range of genres but, ecpecially authors,T.C. Boyle, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, Larry McMurty, Bryce Courteran, Lisa Gardner, Brian Haig, Richard North Patterson, Nelson Demille, Robert Tannenbaum, Sara Gruen, Kate Norton, Steig Larsen, Tana French and Gillian Flynn!! Still many more and the number of authors I enjoy continues to grow.

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    "What a refreshingly complicated and human novel!"

    I am rediscovering this author and am thrilled with his ability to weave together characters and story. I am now starting his mystery series. I grew tired of how formulaic other writers in this genre have become. Also, I appreciate, that violence is not always integral or an accepted response to those events.
    It may be a little cathartic to reads the CJ Box series but violence is not always best dealt with by, the same.

    I really loved this coming of age story set within a complicated and specific period of time. Also, I loved the epilogue!
    Thank you, I am a fan!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Sterling 06-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Reminded me of To Kill A Mockingbird"
    If you could sum up Ordinary Grace in three words, what would they be?

    Family, secrets, grace


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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