Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace

A Novel

Book - 2013
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EljayJohnson
Jul 08, 2019

So perfect in its extraordinary and lovely prose; the depth of its characters; the sheer beauty of its portrayal of grace in all its forms. And so wise about grief and loss that at times it was unbearable for me to read.

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glotet
May 20, 2019

Stunning, absolutely stunning in its depth of spirituality in this kind of a story.

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Clhazen
May 01, 2019

I’ve enjoyed WKK’s Cork O’Connor books very much, but this one is leagues above those. So achingly beautiful in it’s style. The story unfolds like a ribbon that I was compelled to follow, and did so with rapt attention.
This one goes down as a favorite.

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Blabbermouth
Apr 09, 2019

I didn't see this as a mystery, which is what the library labelled it as, to me it was a coming of age book. A young boy's sister is murdered which makes a mystery but it wasn't about solving it, it was about that summer & how that summer effected his brother who had a stutter, his father who was a minister for three churches & his mother who hadn't planned to marry a minister. All the characters were well developed & real. It was a lovely story.

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feralranger
Mar 15, 2019

This is not a crime novel in the traditional sense but it is set around a murder of a young woman in a small town, 1960's Minnesota. Knowable, likable characters who are trying to make sense, make it through, make a life after the local tragedy. It is told 40 years after the event by a man recounting his boyhood.
EXCELLENT. And a good book discussion selection.

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darladoodles
Jan 29, 2019

This is no ordinary book. I could recommend it to readers thirteen and up without reservation. This coming-of-age narrative speaks to all of us and is one of my favorite books of all time. I first listened to it on audio and was especially charmed by the interview with the author at the end of the recorded book. Now I have finished it in print form and so enjoyed savoring the stirring prose. When I saw William Kent Krueger at an author event in 2017, he indicated that another standalone was in the works. The Cork O'Connor books are entertaining, but in my opinion do not hold a candle to this epic story. Highly recommended!

"He 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 grace of God." -- Aeschylus

HCL_staff_reviews Oct 23, 2018

Although not a Cork O'Connor title, everyone will love this title as it is written by the same author. Frank Drum relives the tragedies of the summer of 1961 when he was 13. — Coreen B., Champlin Library

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khallett02
Oct 14, 2018

This book provided everything I could want in a piece of literature. the characters were rich, the story had an element of suspense and the situations offered a great deal to reflect on. This book probably resonates most with people who are part of a christian community.

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southendsnob
Jun 16, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. It's a coming of age book with some mystery to it. Good character development, lots to think about well, very well written. Worth reading.

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fosholt174
May 12, 2018

This is a very good book, much better than the author's series of Northwoods mysteries. The audiobook narration is also very clear and without melodrama.

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cdbeaubien
Apr 09, 2018

The reviews on the cover definitely over sold this book for me. It's not that good.

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orange_lobster_23
Mar 15, 2018

Hard to fit this book into a genre, period piece (70's), coming of age, mystery. The central premise is when unimaginable tragedy strikes seemingly and comfortable predictable lives;
what happens to previously unflappable belief systems. The resolution for each character
is as compelling as the solving of the deaths. Krueger's writing is persuasive and comforting.

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fjvalentin
Nov 11, 2017

A friend recommended this book to me. When I checked it out and saw that it was classified as "Mystery", I almost didn't start it, as I personally don't care too much for that genre. What a mistake it would have been if I hadn't read it. Previous reviewers have lavished praise more adequately than I can, but I will say that it made an impression on me. Like one of the reviewers, as I was reading it, I also noted the resemblance between the father, Nathan Drum, and Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird". The last half of the book is full of surprises, physically and emotionally. It reinforces my faith in "Ordinary Grace".

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ajd16
Oct 23, 2017

"Ordinary Grace" is on my personal Best List for 2017. The tone, pace, and place in time was reminiscent of "To Kill A Mockingbird," and the Methodist minister father figure was Atticus Finch with a clerical collar.

Librarian_Deb Aug 28, 2017

A 13 year old boy in a small town in Minnesota in 1961 should have had a carefree summer, full of trips to the swimming hold and drugstore for a root beer. But Frank Drum's summer turns out to be anything but carefree. It begins with the death of a fellow class mate, then the death of a homeless drifter. Frank's father is a minister and Frank and his younger brother Jake tag along as he conducts funeral services, visits troubled families, and bails his church janitor out of jail. Frank knows something strange is going on with his older sister, who has been sneaking out of the house late at night. It isn't until another death - this one much closer to home - strikes his family that the truth begins to be revealed. And when it is it causes the entire family to have a crisis of faith.
In a way this book plays out like a mystery story, since there are some unexplained deaths and the reader is naturally curious as to how they happened. But really that is very secondary to the main meat of the story, which is the people in the Drum family who are wrestling with some terrible tragedies and revelations. Rarely does a murder story show you the reality of what people touched by unexpected death have to struggle with, but this one does. Frank's father in particular, as a minister, struggles to reconcile the death of a loved one with his faith in a loving God. Frank himself struggles with doubts about whether or not God is really there, while his mother lashes out at God--and at Frank's father. Meanwhile, the younger brother Jake maintains a childlike faith that helps to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction that goes beyond the surface and makes you think about life's bigger picture.

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cmfrakes
Aug 22, 2017

One of the best books I've read in a long time. This was my first book by this author, and I absolutely loved his writing style. I seriously could not put this book down. Beautiful story. Highly recommend it.

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wmtlady
Aug 04, 2017

One of the reviewers called this book "Pitch-perfect." I agree. Krueger's descriptive prose are evocative and relatable. The pace neither hurries nor speeds; it is relentless and gripping, though, as you yearn for the final revelation of truth and understanding.
I also appreciated this book because, while the inclusion of characters of Christian faith was vital to the telling of this story, Krueger didn't make them stereotypical. The vast majority of writers portray believers with saccharine sweetness, unrelatable piety, or surface commitment. Krueger's believers and doubters are viewed realistically as honest or angry, but not with cynical disbelief. (That might be because the book's characters live in a small town and not in a more impersonal big city.)

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fiberartus
Jun 15, 2017

It has been reviewed eloquently by others so I need not try to improve upon that. I would say however, although I have yet to read Krueger's mystery series, if you are looking for another "mystery novel" I do not consider this to fit that genre. By the same token, if you are looking for a strictly "religious experience" it is not as preachy as the title may lead you to believe.

It is a lovely blend of both so it kept me engaged, and the best part, it made me reflect on things that I would possibly not have had I not read this book.

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Bookworm1562
May 14, 2017

I could not put this book down. I have to think that Mark Twain would have felt the same reading Ordinary Grace.

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JimRay
Mar 22, 2017

Wonderful story of unconditional love and forgiveness.

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mliz84321
Feb 22, 2017

Just finished this novel and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Such amazing character development and fantastic storylines. This was a difficult book to put down. I was immediately drawn to this book by the cover and description and so glad i read this.

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jem0559
Jan 19, 2017

Excellent book that combines a coming of age story with a murder mystery. Well plotted, excellent character development, beautiful writing. So evocative that I was in tears several times. The first of this author's works that I've read. I will certainly read more!

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koolness1
Oct 21, 2016

I've read most of his books and he has appeared at our local bookstore many times. There are very few of his books that I have not liked, but this one touched me utterly and completely. A bit out of his usual genre but....well written and enticing.

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shadowhunter21
Oct 17, 2016

I have never read a book by this Author, and i am very pleased that this was my first. I loved to the story and the characters. even the ones i am supposed to hate. :D

PimaLib_MaryG Sep 13, 2016

One of Krueger's best. It's 1961, death is in the air, and Frankie Drum has a lot of growing up to do. Time and again, 13-year-old Frankie encounters small-town prejudices and has to come to terms with how they have influenced his own thinking. Couldn't put it down.


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