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Ordinary Graceby William Kent Krueger
2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Synopses & Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger comes a “pitch-perfect, wonderfully evocative” (Dennis Lehane) novel about a young man, a small town, and murder.
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.
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 adulthood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. Ultimately, it is a story of “redemptive grace and mercy…A novel that transforms narrator and reader alike” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
“Not often does a story feel at once fresh and familiar. But Ordinary Grace, a new novel from William Kent Krueger, is both, and it is affecting.” Denver Post
“Ordinary Grace is engaging from the first page, a quiet novel that unfurls its sad story slowly, but eloquently, leaving its mark on your heart.” The Missourian
“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.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“A superb literary novel.” New York Journal of Books
“...the tone is much like To Kill a Mockingbird, with its combination of dread and nostalgia.” Detroit News
“Everything about this book, from language to ideas to Aeschylus’s epigram is beautiful and you’ll think about it long after you’re finished reading.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“A pitch-perfect, wonderfully evocative examination of violent loss. In Frank Drum's journey away from the shores of childhood—a journey from which he can never return—we recognize the heartbreaking price of adulthood and it's 'wisdoms.' I loved this book.” Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Live by Night and The Given Day
“A respected mystery writer turns his attention to the biggest mystery of all: God. An award-winning author for his long-running Cork O’ Connor series, Krueger aims higher and hits harder with a standalone novel that shares much with his other work.... 'the awful grace of God,' as it manifests itself within the novel, would try the faith of the most devout believer. Yet, ultimately, the world of this novel is one of redemptive grace and mercy, as well as unidentified corpses and unexplainable tragedy. A novel that transforms narrator and reader alike.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“...elegiac, evocative.... a resonant tale of fury, guilt, and redemption.” Publishers Weekly
“A thoughtful literary mystery that is wholly compelling and will appeal to fans of Dennis Lehane and Tom Franklin. . . Don’t take the title too literally, for Krueger has produced something that is anything but ordinary.” BookPage
NOMINATED FOR THE 2014 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
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, a preacher’s son, it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Told from Frank’s perspective forty years later, 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.
About the Author
William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of thirteen novels in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, including Trickster’s Point and Tamarack County. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at WilliamKentKrueger.com.
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