Award-winning and bestselling author William Kent Krueger became known to readers through his Cork O’Connor mystery series set in Northern Minnesota. His mysteries have an enormous sense of place and depth of character. Krueger used all of these skills and more to write Ordinary Grace, which was published in 2013. This standalone novel brought him even more fame, awards and accolades. Readers wanted a follow up. Six years later This Tender Land arrived. 12-year-old Odie O’Banion, his older brother Albert, their friend Mose, and a 6-year-old girl, named Emmy, all of them orphans, run away from the cruel Lincoln School. It is 1932 and the Depression is in full swing. Their plan is to paddle down the Gilead River and out of Minnesota to freedom. Like Homer, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo and Mark Twain, Krueger writes of injustices and cruelties, particularly toward children, through this odyssey of adventure and escape. This novel is an incredible reading experience and would be a wonderful gift at any time of year.
Contributed by Maureen Millea Smith, a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist; maureenmilleasmith.com