One of the best books I have read in months. I have been struggling to find a really captivating novel for a while. I found it here in this beautifully written story. Here is my book review of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.
Set in Minnesota in 1932, our narrator is a 12-year old boy (nearly thirteen, he keeps telling the reader), finds himself caught up in an adventure of a lifetime. Leaving behind the cruel and corrupt Lincoln Indian School, Odie O’Banion and three other orphans set off to find a new life, and nearly perish in doing so.
Odie (nearly 13, his older brother Albert, Moses ( a mute Sioux boy) and 6-year old Emmy are all searching for something – home. They become a little family as they navigate in a canoe from Lincoln School towards Saint Louis on the Mississippi.
Of course a multitude of dangerous, funny, frightening and surreal adventures ensue…including murder, kidnap, snake bites and near starvation as the four orphans endure great loss and pain, reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath and Tom Sawyer all in one book.
I enjoyed William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace (see my review), but I loved This Tender Land and think Krueger’s storytelling ability shines bright in this coming of age novel about life in the hard scrabble depression. With a backdrop of the beautiful American Midwest, Krueger brings the reader easily along the adventure and the characters of this novel easily into our hearts.
*****Five stars for This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
Read last week’s Year End Review 2019-2020
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