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This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
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This Tender Land

by William Kent Krueger

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15418119,600 (4.45)6
For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary Grace. 1932, Minnesota--the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en¬≠thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.… (more)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I like his books and this is a readable story. I ( )
  shazjhb | Oct 14, 2019 |
Thank you to Libro.fm and Recorded Books for letting me listen and review this book. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would and it has a lot to digest from it. I've been thinking about it to try to formulate a review for a couple of days since I finished it.
This story is about 4 orphans on a life-changing journey during the era of the Great Depression in 1932.
In Minnesota, they are at a horrible place called The Lincoln School, where Native American children that have been separated from their families are sent to get an education. It's also where Odie is, who is the MC/one of the 4 orphans in this story. After getting in a lot of trouble and gaining the school superintendent's attention and wrath, Odie, his brother, Albert, their friend, Mose, and Emmy all run away together in a canoe they stole, going to the Missippi and to find a place of their own.
What follows is the telling of their journey during the summer, an adventure where they meet others who are wandering and on their own journeys as well. They meet all types of people like pig farmers, faith healers and others who are lost and trying to find their own way in life and to their own places to call home as well.
It's a coming of age tale, where they come across and are deciding and figuring things out for themselves like religion, belief in God, first crush/love, what's right and wrong, how to treat others with respect and love and so many things.
This story kept sucking me back in whenever I listened to it so I felt like I was there on the banks of the river watching their story or in the school or in the faith revival tents or towns along the way. I was a bit overwhelmed at times from the bigger picture they were showing and talking about along the way, but it also resonated with me a lot and reminded me a lot of Mark Twain's writing with his books about Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer that I remember loving and connecting with when I was younger.
The only thing that bothered me some was that if like me you try to go for clean reads, there's a little bit of language throughout the book, but other than that it was a really good story and the audio was great. ( )
  Kiaya40 | Oct 9, 2019 |
A wonderful tale of four runaway vagabonds who escape their miserable confinement in an Indian School/ orphanage during the thirties. Brothers, Opie and Albert are some of the few white kids at the Indian school, although that doesn't mean they're any better treated. Under the "black witch" they are often subject to beatings, nights in solitary confinement and hard manual labor. When things reach a breaking point they decide to canoe down the river with the good friend Moses, a mute Indian boy, and Emma a recently orphaned six year old girl who looks on the older boys as her protectors and older brothers. The stakes are high as the black witch has alerted the authorities that precious little Emma has been kidnapped, and the boys must use all their wiles to evade other vagabonds, police, and poor people who would be happy to sell them out for the reward money. Entrancing and wonderfully told; these four young characters will earn a place in your heart. It's a touching journey of freedom, discovery, and adventure. ( )
  ecataldi | Oct 1, 2019 |
To say This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger is a beautifully written coming-of-age story is to do it no justice. This is literary fiction the way it's meant to be - compassionate, moving, lyrical without being pretentious, and, most of all, powerful. With a touch of magical realism, Krueger pays homage to many of the great works of American literature like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Wizard of Oz and even Steinbeck while describing the injustices and cruelties suffered during the Great Depression.

It is the tale of four children, or vagabonds as twelve-year-old Odysseus 'Odie" O'Bannon self-described storyteller and narrator, describes them, who escape the horrors of the Residential School and journey by waterway in search of a place they can call home. Along the way they encounter many of the people trying to survive the Depression including travelling Evangelists, hobo camps or Hoovervilles, and Jewish people forced to hide their identities for fear of violence from the police.

This is a book to read slowly. It is a story of love, loss, family- both the ones we are born into and the ones we build for ourselves, the search for identity, and the importance of memory and it made me laugh and cry in equal measure. It is the rare book that I know I will read again and I recommend it highly.

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | Sep 27, 2019 |
I am without adequate words.

To say this story moved me is a massive understatement. Telling you I laughed and cried isn't enough. This story touched me to my core, took me on a journey, and left me emotionally spent. The empathy, compassion, and insight within these pages is astounding.

The writing is simply beautiful. It's lyrical and poetic, but never flowery. It's literary without being stiff and full of itself. Every word matters. Sentences are meant to be lingered over and absorbed.

Am I gushing? Probably, but that's okay. This book is a work of art.

I don't know how I went so many years without reading anything by William Kent Krueger, but it's an egregious error I will rectify by reading all his previous books.

*I received a review copy from the publisher, via Amazon Vine.* ( )
  Darcia | Sep 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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