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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.5 out of 5
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  • Beautiful!

    What a great novel! And the writing is unpretentious. This is my second book by this author. The first one that I read was “Ordinary Grace”, which I highly praised last year. I was completely engaged with “This Tender Land” from the very beginning. It’s one of those books that I did not want to stop reading. I absolutely loved the writing style, the characters, the storyline, the structure and the reconstruction of an era. There is a wonderful flow, and not a moment of boredom (but sometimes a bit dramatic or over sentimental) that made me oblivious of time and my surroundings. I had an immense pleasure and satisfaction reading this book (except during the final chapters - that ending was a bit unbelievable and I thought out of character) and I’m very sad that the story ended. I will definitely look for his older books.

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  • This Tender Land

    A wonderful story of love, loss and happy endings that keeps you up reading long after the lights should go out.

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  • This tender land

    Thoroughly enjoyed this tale of odie and his fellow vagabonds. It is told with feeling and warmth despite the sometimes dreadful things that happen. How tender will be the heart of this tender land. A big thumbs up for mr krueger.

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  • Just read it

    A wonderful tale of hope and family. You won't be disappointed.

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  • a wonderfully uplifting read.

    “Lying on my blanket beside Albert, I was happy to have him for a brother, though I had no intention of telling him so. I didn’t always understand him, and I knew that, more often than not, I was a bafflement to him as well, but the heart isn’t the logical organ of the body, and I loved my brother deeply and fell asleep in the warmth of his company.” This Tender Land is the third stand-alone novel by award-winning, best-selling American author, William Kent Krueger. It’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Odie O’Banion, his older brother, Albert, his Sioux friend, Moses Washington and Little Emmy Frost are paddling a canoe down the Gilead River, heading towards the Mississippi. They’re on the run from the police, wanted for theft, kidnapping and murder. The managers of their erstwhile “home”, the Lincoln Indian Training School, are also on their trail, and that’s a place they never want to see again, so they are doing their best to keep a low profile. Eventually they settle on St Louis as their destination, knowing it will take some time from Minnesota. Why they are in flight, what and whom they encounter on the journey, and what happens at its end, is what fills this superb coming-of-age/adventure tale. They endure forced labour and corporal punishment, captivity and several narrow escapes. A still is built, a man is shot, a tornado devastates, a snake-bite is suffered, and Krueger demonstrates that dumpster-diving is no new phenomenon. Group members join a Christian healing crusade, visit shanty towns, work in a restaurant, hop a freight train, and are on the receiving end of both the heartlessness and the kindness of strangers. Their experiences alter their beliefs in God, and teach them about love, trust, charity and loyalty. “I did want to believe that God was my shepherd and that somehow he was leading me through this dark valley of Lincoln School and I shouldn’t be afraid… But the truth I saw every day was that we were on our own and our safety depended not on God but on ourselves and on helping one another.” Krueger takes the reader to a time in the not-too-distant past when children had virtually no rights, especially if, as in this case, they were orphans or Native American children forcibly removed from their parents. While there were, of course, many genuinely good people amongst those in a guardianship role, a significant number of these children were at the mercy of unscrupulous adults who revelled in cruelty and to whom kindness was a foreign concept. Krueger gives the reader a relatable cast of characters who are humanly flawed, neither wholly good nor evil, and endows some with insightful observations and wise words: “Albert, who was four years older and a whole lot wiser, told me that people are most afraid of things they don’t understand, and if something frightened you, you should get closer to it. That didn’t mean it wouldn’t still be an awful thing, but the awful you knew was easier to handle than the awful you imagined.” Subtly filled with fascinating historical detail, this is a wonderfully uplifting read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia.

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