Dorie - Cats&Books :)'s Reviews > This Tender Land

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
16912659
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favorite, book-from-publisher, historical-fiction, literature

***NOW AVAILABLE***

After reading this book I think there should be a separate genre for incredibly well written books that will endure the test of time, this is truly a “masterpiece”. It is literary fiction, adventure, mystery, a lesson in morality and forgiveness, and so much more. To understand this book you really MUST READ it, and I seldom say that about a book. It is every bit as good as Ordinary Grace by this author.

The time frame for the book is during the Great Depression, it’s 1932 and we will follow the exploits and adventures of four “vagabonds” which they named themselves. All four of the children were orphans, one a Native American. In the author’s notes Mr. Krueger states: “The river voyage upon which Odie O’Banion and his fellow Vagabonds embark in the summer of 1932 is a mythic journey. The reality of the Great Depression landscape that serves as it’s backdrop, however, was etched into the memory of many”. The Great Depression was hard on almost everyone, but it was particularly devastating to families.”

The story opens at the Lincoln School for Native American children. The idea for this school was to take children from their families, have them be boarders at the school and take the “Indian” out of the children.They were stripped of their heritage in every way, they were forbidden to speak their native language, taken from their families and the homes in the wilderness that they had known. The reality of the school, however, was that there was a lot of physical and mental abuse wrought upon these children. There was little good food and clothing and lots of punishment.

The four travelers who decide to escape the school are Odie and Albert O’Banion, who were in this school because the county school for orphaned children was full. Mosie is a Native American who cannot speak for reasons I will leave you to discover, then there is six year old Emmy who is terrified of the Brinkmans and beg the group to take her with them when her mother was killed in the wake of a tornado.

The novel is narrated by Odie. They travel the Gilead river in Minnesota and meet many people, some kind, some terrible who use the children as farm labor and more.The children endure much suffering and do a lot of soul searching, trying to find what they are really looking for, which for Odie is “home”. They are also constantly aware that the Brinkmans who run the school are trying to find them by all means, it is little Emmy that they really want back, to raise as their own. They also want the money and papers that the children took as “insurance” against the Brinkmans if they are ever caught.

As I read this book I felt as Odie stated in the book “With every turn of the river since I’d left Lincoln School, the world had become broader, its mysteries more complex, its possibilities infinite”.

This is a beautifully crafted novel, the prose flows like the river and I truly felt myself getting lost in the story. I cared deeply about each of the children. I also learned about shantytowns and how much the depression hurt everyone and sometimes turned neighbors against neighbors in their search for work and a means to support themselves and their families. There are so many characters, wonderfully described that I couldn’t even begin to name them all or this review would be many pages long.

This is absolutely one of the best books that I have read in the past year. I recommend it to everyone, from teenagers looking to learn a little bit about the past, to everyone else who want to revisit that time period and follow a wonderful adventure.

Many thanks to the author, the publisher, and Wendy Sheanin VP of retail sales for providing me with an ARC of this amazing novel.

Publication date is set for September 3, 2019, don’t miss it!
301 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read This Tender Land.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

April 19, 2019 – Shelved
April 19, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
August 3, 2019 – Started Reading
August 5, 2019 –
page 175
38.89% "Oh my word this book is wonderful. I'm having trouble concentrating on doing anything else, I just want to continue reading this book :)"
August 7, 2019 –
85.0%
August 7, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 10, 2019 – Shelved as: all-time-favorite
August 10, 2019 – Shelved as: book-from-publisher
August 10, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 10, 2019 – Shelved as: literature

Comments Showing 1-50 of 125 (125 new)


Debra Isn't this book wonderful! I loved it! So happy to see you are enjoying it as well.


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Oh I loved it so much, I just posted my review. I really got lost in this story and almost felt in a daze when I finished it. These characters will stay with me for a long time.


Angela M Fantastic review, Dorie. One of my favorites of this year.


Joan And for the rest of us... we have to wait until September!


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Angela M wrote: "Fantastic review, Dorie. One of my favorites of this year."

I know you loved it also Angela, it's very special. I feel as though I miss those characters even now several days after finishing it :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Joan wrote: "And for the rest of us... we have to wait until September!"

Well August is flying by so September 3 is not that far away :)


message 7: by Bianca (new) - added it

Bianca Brilliant review.


Stephanie Nicholas Excellent review, Dorie. I cannot wait to read this!


message 9: by Antoinette (new) - added it

Antoinette Awesome review!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Awesome review, Dorie! I can't wait to read this one. 💙


message 11: by Karenita (new) - added it

Karenita I loved Ordinary Grace. Thanks for reminding about this author. On the wait list at the library.


JanB I wish I had loved this as much as everyone else, but I enjoyed your review and I'm happy you loved it!

I love his writing though and Ordinary Grace is an all-time favorite.


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Fabulous review Dorie! This sounds great!!


Susanne  Strong Wonderful review Dorie! I am so glad that you loved this novel too! (Not surprising since we are often on the same page). This novel had such heart and and I loved the characters so.. Odie.. Emmy.. Moses.. Sister Eve! Oh my.. I could go on and on. The journey they went through really impacted me. Glad it did you also.


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Bianca wrote: "Brilliant review."

thank you Bianca :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Susanne wrote: "Wonderful review Dorie! I am so glad that you loved this novel too! (Not surprising since we are often on the same page). This novel had such heart and and I loved the characters so.. Odie.. Emmy....."

Thanks friend. This was such a special book, it helped bring me out of my reading slump. Yes it had so much heart. My only bitty problem with it which I didn't mention in my review was that it was a bit "preachy" at times. I'm a Christian so I didn't mind it but it seemed a little more so than Ordinary Grace. Thanks for being my friend :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Stephanie wrote: "Excellent review, Dorie. I cannot wait to read this!"

Thanks Stephanie and Antoinette, I truly hope you enjoy it :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* wrote: "Awesome review, Dorie! I can't wait to read this one. 💙"

I hope you really enjoy it Mary Beth, thanks for reading :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Lindsay - Traveling Sister wrote: "Fabulous review Dorie! This sounds great!!"

thank you Lindsay, I think it's pretty special :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Karenita wrote: "I loved Ordinary Grace. Thanks for reminding about this author. On the wait list at the library."

I hope you enjoy it when you get it :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) JanB wrote: "I wish I had loved this as much as everyone else, but I enjoyed your review and I'm happy you loved it!

I love his writing though and Ordinary Grace is an all-time favorite."


Jan your review was fair and honest. I still like Ordinary Grace a little better, perhaps because it was focused on family, very different from this book. Sometimes it's just not the right time for a certain book :) Hope you love your next read :)


message 22: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara He is a remarkable writer. Glad you loved this one...something for me to look forward to.


message 23: by Henry (new) - added it

Henry Great review. Looking forward to reading it.


message 24: by Babybook (new) - added it

Babybook Awesome review, Dorie!


message 25: by Nadia (new) - added it

Nadia What a wonderful review! I can't wait to get my hands on this one!


Diane S ☔ Terrific review, Dorie.


Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ What a great idea! Fantastic review, Dorie!


Karen Fabulous review Dorie! I loved Ordinary Grace also so I can’t wait to read this!


message 29: by Laurene (new) - added it

Laurene Wonderful review! Need to add this one to my excuse to go to the bookstore! :)


message 30: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Excellent review!!😉👍💓💖


message 31: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Beautiful review, Dorie 💖


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Sara wrote: "He is a remarkable writer. Glad you loved this one...something for me to look forward to."

Oh yes if should read this book, especially I think in the summertime because that's when it takes place :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Henry wrote: "Great review. Looking forward to reading it."

thanks so much Henry :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Nadia wrote: "What a wonderful review! I can't wait to get my hands on this one!"

Babybook and Nadia: thank you so much for reading :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Diane S ☔ wrote: "Terrific review, Dorie."

thanks Diane, your review inspired me :) Glad you liked it as much as I did :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Karen wrote: "Fabulous review Dorie! I loved Ordinary Grace also so I can’t wait to read this!"

thanks Karen, you are going to love this one :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "What a great idea! Fantastic review, Dorie!"

thanks Sandra :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Laurene wrote: "Wonderful review! Need to add this one to my excuse to go to the bookstore! :)"

thanks Laurene, I will watch for your review :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Kat wrote: "Excellent review!!😉👍💓💖"

thanks so much :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Felicia wrote: "Beautiful review, Dorie 💖"

thanks so much Felicia, I love your avatar, is it your little dog???


Libby I am really looking forward to reading this one Dorie. Superb review!


DeAnn Can't wait to read this one, outstanding review!


message 43: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Excellent review!!


message 44: by Carla (new) - added it

Carla Johnson-Hicks Wow, sounds amazing. Wonderful review Dorie.


Marilyn Fantastic review, Dorie! I can’t wat to read this one.


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Libby wrote: "I am really looking forward to reading this one Dorie. Superb review!"

thanks Libby, I hope you love it :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) DeAnn wrote: "Can't wait to read this one, outstanding review!"

thanks DeAnn :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Deanna wrote: "Excellent review!!"

thank you Deanna :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Carla wrote: "Wow, sounds amazing. Wonderful review Dorie."

thank you Carla :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Marilyn wrote: "Fantastic review, Dorie! I can’t wat to read this one."

thanks Marilyn I hope you love it :)


« previous 1 3
back to top