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Ordinary Grace: A Novel by William Kent…
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Ordinary Grace: A Novel (edition 2013)

by William Kent Krueger

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1,0081048,471 (4.17)93
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Ordinary Grace: A Novel
Authors:William Kent Krueger
Info:Atria Books (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Audio books, E-book, RJ Books
Rating:****1/2
Tags:MRC13-SL, T-1, NOOK

Work details

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

  1. 20
    Montana 1948 by Larry Watson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These lyrical, meditative novels brim with bittersweet nostalgia in their evocatively detailed portraits of small American towns in the mid-20th century. Both focus on sensitive teen protagonists struggling to understand shocking tragedies and complex family drama.… (more)
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    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (bjappleg8)
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    The Round House by Louise Erdrich (tangledthread)
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» See also 93 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
After reading this one, there's no doubt in my mind that this is one of those books that I will think about and mention whenever anyone asks me why I love to read. It's the sort of book that makes me feel truly sad for those who can't or won't make the time to sit down in a quiet room and immerse themselves in a beautiful story, coming up for air only after the final page has been turned. The setting here is terrific. The characters are fully developed and thoroughly believable. The pacing is right where it needs to be: neither too fast nor too slow. The narrative itself is superb, and my only gripe in that regard (and it's a very small one) is that Krueger should fix the comma key on his computer or typewriter. The only other ding that I can give to this one is that the solution to the central mystery was obvious to me as soon as I met the perpetrator. But since the mystery is only one part of the very large whole here, it did little to detract from the overall experience of reading a thoroughly engaging book from a master at the height of his game. Don't miss this one. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
Stunned.

There is no virtue in reading books quickly. I admit that I read many books too fast. But reading this book in day, completely gripped by the story, I could only devour it.

This is a coming- of-age story and a murder mystery. Set in New Bremen, Minnesota in the summer if 1961, it is narrated by Frank, the son of the Methodist pastor in town. Five people died that summer. . . ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Frank is the oldest son and middle child narrator of this story set in the summer of 1961 in a small Minnesota town on the Minnesota River. His father is the Methodist pastor in town and performs a series of funerals that summer, most for people who died under mysterious circumstances. Right after the big Fourth of July pageant, Frank's sister Ariel goes missing. The small town dynamics and relationships make this book interesting and I couldn't put it down. I'll be eager to read more of Krueger's books. I loved his characters and the plot takes some nice twists and turns. ( )
  mojomomma | Apr 30, 2017 |
This could be Exhibit-A for what I dislike about this genre. Contrived, untrue, pandering. I managed to hang with it for about half, writing is competent, and is a quick-paced story as any adherent would like. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Apr 29, 2017 |
April 10th
Finished Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger today, a recommendation from a friend who at dinner Saturday night said it reminded him of To Kill a Mockingbird. It was a good observation. The nicely told tale is narrated by 13 year old Frank Drum who is recalling events from his youth, in 1961, a tragic year of several deaths. In a small town in Minnesota Frank grew up going to multiple church services each Sunday. His father, Nathan is the minister for the area, his mother the choral director, his sister the star organist and singer. During this transformational summer, he experiences the loss of a loved one, an understanding of justice, and valuable insights into the minds of both his father and brother. There were several well drawn characters built into the narrative that besides exploring the deaths, also touched on the effect of war on a returning soldier, the Dakota uprising of 1862, and the class system entrenched in a small town.
I'll have to thank my friend for the recommendation. ( )
  novelcommentary | Apr 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
It's the kind of book where you fight between wanting to race through it to the finish and attempting to make it last. Luckily it's paced so well and is so satisfying a meal for the mind, I was able to put it down every few chapters and happily mull over what has gone before, feeling sated.

It's the kind of introspective, intelligent novel where there are layers of meaning behind every word, and personal history and context wrapped in the motives of every character. It also has a strong plot, for those who like Kent Krueger for his thrillers.
 
Krueger has created a cast of compelling characters (young and old), each in his or her own way searching for something, including the narrator’s father, the town’s Methodist pastor, and his mother, whose bold personality worries his congregation.

Although Krueger’s plot rises to a predictable conclusion, there’s such a quiet beauty in his prose and such depth to his characters that I was completely captivated by this book’s ordinary grace
 
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Epigraph
The heart has reasons that reason does not understand. -- Blaise Pascal
Dedication
For Diane, my extraordinary grace
First words
All the dying that summer began with the death of a child, a boy with golden hair and thick glasses, killed on the railroad tracks outside New Bremen, Minnesota, sliced into pieces by a thousand tons of steel speeding across the prairie toward South Dakota.
Quotations
With Mother home I liked the idea that we’d been saved as a family by the miracle of that ordinary grace.
I still spend a lot of time thinking about the events of that summer. About the terrible price of wisdom. The awful grace of God.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.”

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family— which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother— he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
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Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.

(summary from another edition)

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