Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ordinary Grace

William Kent Krueger

All the dying that summer began with the death of a child . . .

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 (from Netgalley).

My Thoughts

The first word that came to mind when I finished this was - Beautiful. Beautiful in the story that is tells, in the way it was written and in the message that it sends.

I loved that this was told through the eyes of thirteen-year old Frank. He is a fairly typical young teenagers - inquisitive about life, bold, sometimes mischievious and frequently funny. He really wants to understand what is going on and is relentless in finding out. Most importantly, he loves his family.

This story is not without tragedy and heartache. But in the end, there are such profound moments of redemption and healing that it makes the sadness bearable.

As I said in the beginning - Beautiful.

My thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Publish date: October 19, 2012.

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