A Wonderful Book

A Wonderful Book

Have I got a novel for you!

William Kent Krueger has written 21 books involving history and mystery, subjects I love, and yet somehow I was completely unaware of him. Then recently a friend recommended This Tender Land, which I finished last night. It is beautiful.

The story is set in 1932, when 12-year-old Odie O’Banion flees the school where he has been held a virtual prisoner and joins up with three other orphans, each searching for something different. The unlikely family makes its way to the Mississippi River, hoping to reach St. Louis. What they find changes their lives, for good and bad.

Kruegger set out to write a Depression-era Huckleberry Finn, and the result is a journey that will move and startle you.

Here’s a passage from the Epilogue, in which, years later, Odie reflects what he learned on that trip.

There is a river that runs through time and the universe, vast and inexplicable, a flow of spirit that is at the heart of all existence, and every molecule of our being is a part of it. And what is God but the whole of that river? . . .

Perhaps the most important truth I’ve learned across the whole of my life is that it’s only when I yield to the river and embrace the journey that I find peace.

More about This Tender Land

More about William Kent Krueger