This Tender Land
By William Kent Krueger
Atria Books, 9781476749303, May 2020, 464pp.
The Short of It:
A lot of heartbreak, but these characters quickly pulled me in.
The Rest of It:
In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, Odie O’Banion is an orphan confined to the Lincoln Indian Training School, a pitiless place where his lively nature earns him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee after committing a terrible crime, he and his brother, Albert, their best friend, Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. ~ Indiebound
This was the book I was reading when I got hit with all my health issues and so the details of the story are not forthcoming and I had to miss my club’s discussion so I have no idea how they felt about the book but here is my take:
I loved these characters but this book is filled with one heartache after another. These kids do not live an easy life and the people they encounter are both filled with good, and bad. It’s been compared to Huckleberry Finn and Where the Crawdad’s Sing and I can see that comparison, but honestly what it reminded me most of is The Wizard of Oz. Everyone is searching for something, mostly a place to call home. But the rhythm of heartache was hard to read over and over again and parts of the story were a tad hard to swallow. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it but felt that it got a little repetitive halfway through and could have been edited down a bit.
Have you read it? I had no idea how many books this author has written. I will absolutely read another book by him because I was really into these characters.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.