Monday, May 11, 2015

Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace
by William Kent Krueger

I read this book for the libraries Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, which recently chose it as their book-of-the-month. I've enjoyed the books in Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, and had the opportunity to see Krueger in person in April 2014, when he appeared at a bookstore in Lincoln, to promote Ordinary Grace. At the time, Krueger said that Ordinary Grace is his personal favorite of all the books he's written, and the one of which he's the most proud. This stand-alone novel, which won the Edgar Award for best Mystery Novel of the year, is set in the early 1960s, in a small, rural Minnesota town -- New Bremen. Told from the point-of-view of Frank Drum, the 13-year-old son of the town's Methodist minister, this is a coming-of-age tale for both Frank and his younger brother Jake, during a summer in which several local deaths all have a major impact on the townspeople of New Bremen. This tale is told very simply, but still reaches out and grabs you, demanding that you pay attention to all the small details of description and dialog. The character relationships make this story feel exceptionally "real" -- several Just Desserts group members, who grew up in small towns just like New Bremen, said the story pulled them in and reminded them of what small town life was like for them as children. In the end, though a mystery lies at the heart of this story, this is not a traditional "mystery novel", the likes of which Krueger is well-known for. Instead, this is a slice-of-life novel, with unforgettable characters and emotional confrontations. I can't recommend this highly enough! -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ see Scott's Reviewer Profile and more of his reviews ]

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try other books by William Kent Krueger, although be aware that Ordinary Grace is different than any of his other novels.]

[Also available in book-on-cd and Large Print formats.]

[ official Ordinary Grace page on the official William Kent Krueger web site ]

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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