Robert Owens's Reviews > Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
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bookshelves: fiction, kindle, reading-challenge, public-library, minnesota, mystery

This summer I am involved in a summer reading challenge at my local library. There is one book that adults are asked to read for the challenge: this is it!

While I was provided a paperback copy of the book, I knew I would struggle reading 300+ pages of that sized print. I had immediately put the book on hold through Overdrive earlier this month when we signed up for the challenge. I waited and waited for it to be delivered. I could wait no longer. I purchased the Kindle version with a deep discount for $0.80. Of course, and a couple hours later, Overdrive loaned me the book. ;)

I enjoyed the mystery of this book. Five deaths in a small town helped shape a boy's view of the world. His father, a preacher and a man who had killed during the war, was the moral leader of the family. The boy wrestled with the meaning of what was going on around him as he witnessed his mother out-and-out reject God. His sister was one of the deaths. Who did it and why was what held the reader's focus through most of the book. (Happy to report I solved this one after my early pronouncement was proved incorrect.)

The story is engaging and enjoyable. The writing used much figurative language (similes and metaphors mostly) that I thought were forced ("Oh when she sang she could make a fence post cry.", for example; "a rusty merry-go-round—that on a hot summer day could burn you like a lit match."; "The Brandt estate was a football field of grass cut even as carpeting"). Some of these expressions stood out as odd thoughts as I read an otherwise enjoyable story.

The phrase "ordinary grace" was taken from a line the mother blurted out to her husband who was trying to offer grace at their daughter's funeral. As he paused to gather himself, she scoffed,

“For God’s sake, Nathan, can’t you, just this once, offer an ordinary grace?”

Love it!

The theme of the book is that life goes on. No matter what happens, keep on keeping on.

It was a good summer vacation read.

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Reading Progress

July 5, 2018 – Shelved
July 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 29, 2018 – Started Reading
July 29, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: fiction
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: kindle
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: reading-challenge
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: public-library
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: minnesota
July 31, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery

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