BY MARY MILLER
Every once in a blue moon a book comes along that swallows a reader whole: The characters are so full and fleshed out that we are acutely aware of their hopes and despairs; they are like family, complete with closet skeletons and moles.
And if the writer does a really good job, we care very much about what happens to these people, and at the end of the book we feel as though we are saying goodbye to treasured friends.
William Kent Krueger has written such a book in “Ordinary Grace.” It is 1961 in the small Minnesota town of New Bremen. Frank Drum, then 13, narrates the story, told 40 years later.
Frank writes, “It was a summer in which death ... assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder. You might think I remember the summer as tragic and I do but not completely so.”
So begins this mesmerizing page-turner, detailing this tragic summer in the Drum family, headed by a compassionate Methodist minister and his artistic, beautiful wife. By the end of the second chapter I was already wiping tears from my eyes. In 24 pages I cared enough for these characters to cry for them.
Krueger, a Minnesotan and New York Times bestselling author, already has a strong fan base with his mysteries featuring ex-cop Cork O’Connor. “Ordinary Grace” is a departure for Krueger; while I have enjoyed his other books immensely, the writing in this novel is heavy with layers of meaning, and the characters of New Bremen come to life.
Krueger will sign copies of his book “Ordinary Grace” at Turtle Town Books & Gifts in Nisswa from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11. If you would like a book, please call and reserve one at 218-963-4891.
(Mary Miller is owner of Turtle Town Books & Gifts in downtown Nisswa.)