A must read.
5 out of 5 stars.
There is a quote in the book where it talks about the awful Grace of God.
The meaning of awful as an adjective 1 extremely bad unpleasant disagreeable 2 inspiring fear terrible an awful noise 3 solemnly impressive the awful majesty of the peaks 4 extremely dangerous, risky, injurious, etc an awful fall to take an awful chance 5 Informal very great an awful lot of money 6 full of awe reverential What I find sad is that we almost always hear the word in its 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th context and rarely, if ever in the context of the meanings given in the 3rd and 6th I wish this could change because it makes sense that awful would mean full of awe That is what this book inspired in me awe And its tone, through all the sadness and sorrow in the story, is reverential.
Although this story is told in the first person from the point of view of a 13 year old boy, it is told by a much older man named Frank likely in his early 50 s who is remembering a particular summer in his life when he was 13 That same summer, his brother Jake is 11 and his sister Ariel is 18 This summer of 1961 is one where the family was involved in varying degrees of closeness to several deaths in their town.
Their father, Nathan Drum, is a minister and as members of the minister s family, his wife Ruth and their children attend all his services, including funerals Ariel is also a gifted pianist and plays the organ in church, while Ruth has a beautiful soprano voice and organizes the choirs in the three parishes where her husband holds Sunday services This is the summer their idyllic family almost comes apart at the seams.
Although death is a theme, the far greater and powerful theme within the pages is grace Moving through catastrophe and sadness and deepest sorrow with grace Allowing grace to pave the way for personal miracles of forgiveness, of healing, and of making sense of the incomprehensible.
The writing in this book flows like a river there are the calm areas, the cataracts over sharp rocks, and the whirlpools There are the parts that carry one so quickly it takes your breath, and there are the parts where the flow is easy and slow, carrying you closer to the next bend and whatever lies beyond.
This book is full of wonder as well as sorrow, and the ending is beautiful I recommend this to everyone who enjoys being awe inspired by a majestic read.
I adored this book It stirred so many emotions within me, and for that I have to give it 5 stars It is a wonderful coming of age story, complete with a small town atmosphere and a mystery surrounding the quiet, unassuming community of New Bremen, Minnesota We are told on the very first page thatIt was a summer in which death, in visitation, assumed many formsBut, this book is about much than just the mystery it is a story about friendship, brotherhood, family dynamics and bonds, death, faith, andthe awful grace of God.
Thirteen year old Frank Drum, our narrator, bums around in the summer of 1961 with his younger brother, Jake Running around the neighborhood and town without parental supervision, playing softball with big groups of friends, eating Sugar Pops, Franco American spaghetti, and Jello O salads, drinking root beer in frosty mugs, watching television, reading books and comics, laying awake at night in the stifling heat of a non air conditioned bedroom, and overhearing bits and pieces of conversation meant for adult ears only all these things evoked my own memories of childhood summers where the days stretched long before you and the hours were filled with ideas of fun you devised on your own Frank relates this story forty years after the summer the events of this book occurred so we learn his perspective as an adult looking back at his own reflections of his youth and his brief introduction to manhood once tragedy is thrust into the midst of his family This family includes his quieter brother, Jake, who suffers from a stutter, his faith filled, minister father, Nathan, his perhaps disillusioned mother, Ruth, who struggles with her own faith, and his destined for musical greatness sister, Ariel One of my favorite characters, aside from Frank and Nathan, is the wonderfully flawed Gus A friend and keeper of Nathan s old war secrets, Gus is the person everyone, especially Frank and Jake, can turn to for support and advice When dealing with loss, each person will experience a range of different emotions anger, hope, despair, forgiveness, guilt, and faith are all explored by William Kent Krueger He does this with such beautiful prose that all his words just resonated within me Faith can be steadfast, it may be lost, and it may be re gained Tragedy can tear a family apart but the strength of love and family bonds can heal our woundsHe who learns must suffer And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful graces of GodI highly recommend this book it will make you think about your own beliefs and even the power of your ownOrdinary Grace.
A quiet novel that unfurls its sad story slowly, but eloquently, leaving its mark on your heart Found this book on Goodreads, thanks to my friends here It s truly a beautiful melancholic story about a boy growing up, the grief of a family tragedy, the love and the unbreakable bonds of a family, the strong bond of young brothers beautifully written, the book radiates a quiet beauty Reminded me of The Round House Louise Erdrich Dark and warm at the same time About the Ordinary Grace of God Sincerely recommended 4.
5 stars, I may upgrade to 5 even Beau ti ful, slowly read enjoyed book In 1961 New Bremen, Minnesota, all is quiet and serene The Minnesota River flows through the countryside, the town barber knows everyone s name, and folks dutifully attend church every Sunday But that serenity is thrown into turmoil as a series of tragic deaths lead 13 year old Frank Drum and his family on a search for terrible truths But at which cost comes wisdom Frank must leave his childhood behind and confront the dark nature of the adult world how do we deal with grief And what solace is there in the Ordinary Grace of the world When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard bound older sister, and wise beyond his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal Told from Frank s perspective 40 years later, Ordinary Grace is a 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 I was convinced to read this gentle coming of age story by an inundation of five star reviews posted by wonderful Goodreads friends.
I would like the aforementioned friends to remain as such, so I ll get my main gripe out of the way and then move onto the good bits THE BAD BITSRepetition of the word and Thin and angry and blind and lost and shut up behindtrustworthy and loyal and thrifty and brave and clean and reverentForster s terns and black terns and great blue herons and egrets and bald eagles and warblers and other birds so ordinary and profuseThen there s this little beauty And I turned back and entered the shadow of the sanctuary still smiling and suffered the glaring condemnation of the congregation and sat through the long service in which Albert Griswold held forth in his impromptu and interminable sermon about the need to impress godly values on the youth of the day and when it was over I walked back to the house and found Jake upstairs in our room and I apologized.
Holy bad editing, Batman Eight ands and not a comma in sight Is the use of commas expressly forbidden in Minnesota These are just a few examples I had to stop highlighting any others there were several as it was spoiling my enjoyment of the story.
THE GOOD NEWSClumsy writing editing notwithstanding, the story is a pleasant, inoffensive read and much of Krueger s prose is beautifully poetic There is a strong narrative perspective and the author has a clear voice I felt that there was a Sunday afternoon, black and white movie atmosphere to the read a To Kill a Mockingbird meets Stand by Me vibe It flows slowly and gently, like a lazy river, wonderfully depicting how children can often see things that adults miss because they have inquiring minds.
My favourite character was Jake, the younger brother who has a stutter Because he is often uncommunicative he listens keenly and possesses intuition beyond his years I also warmed to Gus, who s an honourable, stand up guy OVERVIEWI prefer my books to come bounding in with some grit and pizzazz There were no Omigod moments in this read and it was far too wholesome for my liking Please note that my inconsequential opinion is very much the minority one This book has charmed almost everyone who has read it, so you can treat my review with a modicum of scepticism Big love to you all.
Don t hate me
5 starsOrdinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, is a beautifully written hard to put down novel full of twists and turns William Kent Krueger is mostly know for his multiple award winning Cork O Connor series Ordinary Grace is a stand alone novel and is the Winner of the 2014 EDGAR Award for Best Novel, a Winner of the 2014 DILYS Award and was A SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2013 This book is narrated by Frank Drum, 40 years after a fateful summer when he was thirteen years old in New Bremen, Minnesota This novel is a coming of age novel yet at the same time it is a mystery and deals with deaths that rocked the small community The book opens with the death of a young boy who is killed on the town s railroad tracks This young boy s tragic death is just the first, but as the narrator informs the reader, the saddest death is yet to come Each of the members of Frank s family will react in different ways to the events of the summer of 1961, as will the other members of the community Deaths which assumed many forms and affected young Frank deeply This book is a look at tragic loss and how it affects not only families but the community as a whole Young and old, rich and poor, no one can escape the mysterious tragedies of that fateful summer Frank Drum is the son of a Methodist Minister and a Veteran of World War 2, who proceeds over three church congregations His Mother heads up each Churches choir and his older sister, a gifted pianist, is Julliard bound and his stuttering younger brother is very smart for his young age During that fateful summer of 1961, Frank finds himself thrust into a world of mystery, crime, secrets, prejudice, and lies This book also examines how the members of Frank s family deals with loss Can Frank s Father, a Man of God, still maintain his faith What will happen if his Wife abandons her faith How can children maintain their innocence after all they have seen and learned This book was very simple yet very elegant at the same time I had a hard time putting this book down I wanted to keep reading until the very last page I found myself thinking about this novel long after I read the last page William Kent Krueger introduced a cast of memorable characters, some lovable and some not at all likable All are important to the story Issues such as prejudice, social class, sexual orientation, and young love are also explored in this novel.
I highly recommend this moving and beautifully novel.
See of my reviews at www.
com New book by this author coming out in Fall 2019, titled This Tender Land you will want to watch for this one I listened to this book on audio, it was a book club book and I hadn t been familiar with it at all.
This is a beautifully written book with gorgeous prose and very in depth character development It really made me feel as if I were in a small town in Minnesota in the 1961 I live in Wisconsin and have been in numerous small towns in the north woods area that have this same feel.
This was a simpler time and place I was 11 in 1961 and can remember running around the neighborhood, skating, riding bikes and then outside at night just sitting on our porches and in backyards, talking, looking at the sky and watching fireflies My parents had no fear that anything would happen to me The book is told in first person narrated by Frank Drum as an adult looking back on that fateful summer when he was just 13 There was so much that happened to the Drum family that summer but I won t give away a thing.
What I d like to do is press this book into virtually everyone s hand and just say read it, you will love it The writing is so exceptional and the story simple yet profound.
Highly recommended and I don t give out 5 stars very often I am currently making my way through this author s Cork O Connor series and enjoying them very much So it was an easy step for me to pick up this stand alone novel and give it a try So pleased I did because this is a beautiful book.
I love the easy, gentle characters that Krueger brings to his books He seems to have an affinity with people who think deeply and people who care, but he can still portray the evil and the unkind when he needs to I so enjoyed the many times in the story when the boys are in trouble and they actually go to trusted adults for help instead of digging themselves further into difficulty, which would be the norm for contemporary literature.
I liked the easy pace of the book, not too fast so there was plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and not so slow that it ever felt boring All of the characters were well written and acted in character And there was plenty of emotion the tissues came out for the scene involving the title of the book for sure A lovely book Highly recommended.
Frank s family includes his father, a Methodist minister and veteran of World War II who still harbors secrets and regrets from the war Frank s mother has an artistic nature and seems vaguely disappointed in the life that she has found Additionally, Frank has an older and very talented sister who is headed for Julliard and a younger brother, Jake, who suffers from a disorder that makes him stutter badly.
The book opens with the death of a young boy who is accidentally killed while playing near the railroad tracks and this is the first in a series of tragedies that will befall the people of New Bremen as the summer progresses Each of the members of Frank s family will react in different ways to the events of the summer, as will the other members of the community.
Krueger has vividly recreated the time and place in which this story is set an obviously simpler and much trusting age, and he has populated it with a cast of deftly drawn characters each of whom is totally believable and engaging The story is moving and elegiac, and calls to mind both Larry Watson s, Montana 1948 and Norman Macean s A River Runs Through It Each of these books was also set in a small community in an earlier age In each case the narrator is also a young man on the cusp of adulthood, and in each book families and the challenges they face are also critically important themes.
With Ordinary Grace, William Kent Krueger joins a very select group of authors in the brilliance with which he explores these subjects This is, truly, a wonderful book and no review can really do it justice it s one that a reader needs to experience for himself of herself Certainly, though, it s the best book I ve read thus far this year and the easiest five stars I ve given in a very long time.
From New York Times Bestselling Author William Kent Krueger Comes A Brilliant New Novel About A Young Man, A Small Town, And Murder In The Summer Of New Bremen, Minnesota, The Twins Were Playing Their Debut Season, Ice Cold Root Beers Were At The Ready At Halderson S Drug Store Soda Counter, 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 Summer In Which Death Assumed Many FormsWhen Tragedy Unexpectedly Comes To Call On His Family, Which Includes His Methodist Minister Father, His Passionate, Artistic Mother, Juilliard Bound Older Sister, And Wise Beyond His Years Kid Brother, Frank Finds Himself Thrust Into An Adult World Full Of Secrets, Lies, Adultery, And BetrayalOn The Surface, Ordinary Grace Is The Story Of The Murder Of A Beautiful Young Woman, A Beloved Daughter And Sister At Heart, It S The Story Of What That Tragedy Does To A Boy, His Family, And Ultimately The Fabric Of The Small Town In Which He Lives Told From Frank S Perspective Forty Years After That Fateful Summer, It Is A 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