Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: This Tender Land

This Tender Land

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.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers
Nine Perfect Strangers
By Liane Moriarty
Flatiron Books, 9781250069832, October 2019, 464pp.

The Short of It:

Kept me engaged. Didn’t mind the entertainment value one bit.

The Rest of It:

Tranquillum House is the end all, be all destination retreat for those needing a fresh start. Boasting beautiful outdoor spaces, custom meal plans, massages, meditation, and relaxation, its high price doesn’t deter those in need of transformation and that is what Tranquillum House and Masha, its extravagant guide promises.

Frances is on the verge of being a washed-up romance writer. Her back hurts, she could lose a few pounds. She needs a jumpstart on life. Others are there to save their marriage, their family, or recover from grief and loss. All of them strangers, there by choice yet they didn’t quite understand what they signed up for because once they arrive, they are told not to speak, not to even look at one another. There is forced meditation, fasts, and some more extreme measures taken to truly transform them.

In the beginning, ten days doesn’t seem like a lot. They can deal with anything for ten days but then Masha and her small staff push the boundaries of what’s appropriate.

Of all the Moriarty books, this one has probably gotten the most lukewarm reviews but I enjoyed it. There was just enough quirk in these characters to keep me interested and there is a bit of a mystery as to how it will all end for these nine guests. At nearly 500 pages it held my interest the entire time. I read it with one of my previous students and we both blew through it.

Recommend.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.