Monday, June 10, 2013
William Kent Krueger's stand alone novel, Ordinary Grace, was a great read. Set in New Bremen, Minnesota in 1961, the story is told from the perspective of thirteen year-old Frank Drum. Frank experiences a summer filled with death and tragedy, but also one in which he realizes the importance of faith and family. Krueger peoples the novel with memorable characters, such as Frank's intuitive and quiet younger brother Jake, his thoughtful pastor father, and his talented and enigmatic mother. His sister Ariel is Julliard-bound in the fall, and despite being filled with promise, has her own set of dark secrets. This was a very well written and remarkably easy to read book. It also beautifully captured the emotional landscape of a family and a small town. There were several passages that caught me off guard and really touched me. This book is not categorized as a mystery, but it is in essence one, as the reader doesn't learn until the final pages some of the important discoveries. Krueger's writing was reminiscent of that of Richard Ford. Despite the sad themes of this book, I would highly recommend it, and I plan to read more by Krueger.