Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace

A Novel

eBook - 2013
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE 2014 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVELWINNER OF THE 2014 DILYS AWARDA SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2013“That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.” 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.
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9781451645866
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go


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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

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.

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.

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.

Apr 09, 2018

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

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.

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".

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.

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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booklady413 Aug 21, 2015

"The dead are never far from us. They're in our hearts and on our minds and in the end all that separates us from them is a single breath, one final puff of air." Page 307

PimaLib_LisaW May 06, 2015

“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.”
William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace.


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May 21, 2013

Ordinary Grace is a stand alone novel by William Kent Krueger, author of the Cork O'Connor mystery series. Told through the eyes of a 13 year-old boy, the book details the struggles of faith of a rural Methodist minister and his family when their talented daughter if found dead. The story details the passage from childhood innocence to worldly awareness by the 13 yo and his younger brother. Once again the author demonstrates his sensitivity in spiritual matters.

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