Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Ordinary Grace" by William Kent Krueger

Much of the book has to do with young Frank's attempt to separate what he thinks he knows from what might (or might not) be the ultimate truth.  Have you ever been in a position of "knowing" something with certainty...and then learning that your judgment was wrong?  How can we guard ourselves false accusations?

For further information about the author and this book, check out:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked this book. The characters were well defined. The main characers appear to be Frank and his younger brother Jake, who has a stuttering problem. Their father is a preacher, and their mother a talented musician and singer. Their sister, Ariel, with musical talents also, plans a music education in college until.....
The story is about, I think, death and how people deal with the situation, especially two boys at a particular age. Children of Frank & Jake's ages suddently become aware of their own mortality. Their sister's death compounds this reality.
Who did I trust or mistrust from the beginning? I didn't trust Doyle after the boys saw him in Warren's lean-to. He also always had his nose in everyone's business and was a blabbermouth. A cop that needed to be fired! (or have a zipper put on his mouth).
I had strange feelings about Lise and the way she acted at times. The story clearly showed her annoyance when her time with her brother was interupted.
Warren was a victim of small town prejudice even though he was a war veteran. I did not think he was a killer. If he was, the boys would have been dead by the railroad tracks from the beginning.
Nathan was a good father and a pastor who appeared to adjust after the war. His constant praying seemed to me that he was seeking forgiveness for his war years.
Ruth (mother) was a talented singer and pianist and seemed just to tolerate her husband's job. She did however add her singing and piano playing to his services.
There are many situations with the people in the story such as:
Murder - Ariel
Spousal Abuse (related to PTSD) - Mr. Klement
Depression - Ruth
Homosexuality - Karl Brandt
Suicide - Karl Brandt & an attempt by Emil Brandt
PTSD - Gus (also alcohol problems)
Autism? - Lise Brandt
Stuttering - Jake
Bullying, Gossip, Racial Bias etc.

Frank and Jake experience some shocking episodes in their adolescent years. Frank appeared to shake off everything. Jake did the same somewhat, however you always had the feeling he was internalizing the various tragedies. His stuttering disappeared when he took his father's place after the funeral of his sister. He gave an "ordinary grace" and stunned everyone, including his brother Frank.

A very good story.