This week’s review is This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. One of my favorite ways to rest is by curling up with a good book. Like movies and music, all genres appeal to me, and I give all books a chance to be ‘heard’!
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This Tender Landy by William Kent Krueger
Even if I weren’t a fan of historical fiction, I would be a fan of This Tender Land. It has an overall feeling of being gathered around a campfire listening to your grandfather or great uncle telling his grand adventure of escaping one life in search of a better one.
The story begins during the Great Depression with Odie O’Bannon, an eleven-year-old boy, and his older brother, Albert, living in an orphanage for Native American children after their parents died. Together with their mute friend, Mose, and a recent orphan, Emmy, they decide to leave the orphanage after years of mistreatment. They set off along the great Mississippi River in a canoe and head for St. Lois, the home of their mother’s sister.
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As they drift down the river, they meet other drifters, a lonely farmer who holds them captive, a homeless family, a Native American, a camp of Christian crusaders, and a few others. Each encounter has it’s own challenges and even splits the group for a period of time. The group of runaways is met with death, miracles, and decisions that would forever change their life.
Though the story is set around the four kids, Odie is the main character. His morals always stay true and he has a deep kindness for others though he hasn’t always been shown kindness in turn. With a constant struggle with God, Odie ebbs and flows in his faith. He ultimately sees God as what he calls a ‘Tornado God’ – destroying here and there whatever is in its path. But he always sees the good in each person he meets and is wanting to help others in whichever way he can.
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Overall, the story has an undertone of sadness because of the setbacks the four runaways have, but you don’t feel sad while reading it. Despite the setbacks, they have good times, memorable moments, and friendships forged along the way. The story gives continual hope for each of the boys and Emmy. They show maturity beyond their years due to their experiences individually and collectively.
Throughout their adventure, the kids change in their own ways because of their experiences. They each struggle with their own issues, but they deal with it as they go while also helping each other as a whole. Their love and concern for each other are evident and they care for one another like family.
This Tender Land flows from one chapter to the next, never breaking from the adventure. It makes it difficult to set the book down when you’re eager to know what’s happening next. The suddenness of events isn’t expected, but at the same time, they aren’t a total surprise either.
I didn’t want their adventure to end. I was smiling at the end with a smile only a good, wholesome fulfilling story can bring.
This Tender Land with William Kent Krueger
Book of the Month Club
I enjoyed books so much that I joined the Book of the Month Club to continue receiving the latest and greatest books via mail. Some of the books are exclusive to BOTM club members a month prior to their official publishing date! Each month I’m excited about the monthly selections, and it’s tough to select just one. (And when I can’t decide on one, I can add additional books for a small add-on charge and – as always – shipping is included in the monthly membership fee.) Can’t find one you want? That’s okay, too! Skip a month, pocket the credit to spend next month, and you won’t be charged for that current month.
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Book Ratings and Reviews
Each book I review is based on my opinion. This does not mean you will agree with the review or love/like/dislike the book, too. There’s a quote that says, “No two persons ever read the same book” by Edmund Wilson, and it’s quite true!
Do you have a book to recommend? I’d love to hear about it! Contact me.