This Tender Land

This Tender Land

by William Kent Krueger


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This Tender Land: A Novel 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
What a fascinating story. I was born in 1931 and the author brought back many memories from my own childhood growing up in Minnesota. Thank you for the great adventure that comes with reading this marvelous book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! It had my attention from page 1 all the way to the very end. I never wanted it to end. I was so invested and intrigued by the characters and the plot. Fantastic read. Must read!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I. Love how descriptive This tender land is. I can actually see each place described in the book. The story itself kept me wanting to keep turning each page.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I have to say that I am in awe. William Kent Krueger's book Ordinary Grace was a masterpiece in writing, and it's hard to believe that an author could create another. However, This Tender Land is exactly that: a beautiful work of art. Krueger's sensory descriptions make us live the journey with the Four Vagabonds. It's easy to fall in love with Odie, Emmy, Mose and Albert and root for them to win. I love how their quest is really about many things: the search for self, family and God. The resolutions to all are not simple yet we are satisfied with the answers given. I will miss Odie and his storytelling and all of the characters we come to know and love in this novel. Treat yourself to this book!
Karenrmicone 7 months ago
William Kent Krueger is a beautiful storyteller, and This Tender Land is more proof. I saved this book for a bit, because I knew I would want to take my time and absorb it. I was so right to do so! The Lincoln School in Minnesota is a terrible place to wind up, more so during the depression era in the United States. It is even more harsh if you are Native American. 4 children realize this all too well and take off on their own, carving out their own worlds. My review does not do this amazing book will be better for having read it.
Rachel_Denise01 14 days ago
The Tender Land by William Kent Krueger is a breathtaking adventure placed in the throws of The Great Depression, over the course of the summer of 1932. To hear the coming of age stories of overcoming horrific events to become better souls and people despite it all, ran through many emotions for me. Sadness and anger at how these fictional children and destitute families were treated, and the true beyond horrific, unimaginable, and indescribable atrocities that occurred to the Native Americans, brought me to tears more then once. I am so glad the author was able to keep this issue exposed for another generation to learn from and avoid repeating again. I was also happy, elated, and in awe of the love, devotion, friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice that Odie, Emmy, Albert, and Mose exhibited with each other and other kind-hearted souls that were in need. It helped to know that there were, and still are, good people out here to help us remember, “ We are not alone”. The ending and the Epilogue were a perfect end to a perfect book. 5/5 stars. Definitely a book that I will want to read again.
Cortingbooks 3 months ago
A poignant story about four orphans who are forced to leave a residential school in the 1930’s due to the abusive behavior of the owners as they try to make their way to a long lost aunt living in another state. While on this harrowing journey the kids are constantly looking over their shoulders; afraid the authorities might catch up to them. They meet several people along the way who give them guidance but soon learn that the outside world may not be any better than the one they left behind. This novel was sad and distressing but also hopeful. I was holding my breath the entire time hoping that Odie, Mose, Emmy, & Albert would make it to a safe space where they would be welcomed and loved. The author doesn’t shy away from some of the atrocities committed by people during that time period and the emotional toll it took on those who experienced it. Recommended for those who are interested in reading plaintive historical fiction set during The Great Depression.
Anonymous 4 months ago
The adventures of a young man, a teenager really, and his journey to find his place in life.
MarilynW-Reviewer 4 months ago
My favorite thing about reading books is when I connect to the characters. We don't have to be anything alike but I have to care about them or sometimes, hate them, so much that the people seem real and I want to know what happens next in the story and with the characters. I cared about Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy but also, I cared about so many other characters in this book. The story takes place during the summer of 1932, right before Odie turns thirteen. He and his sixteen year old brother Albert are the only white children at the Lincoln School, an institution for Native American children, who were forcibly removed from their families, in order to eradicate as much of their culture from them as possible. The school is a horrible place, with the children doing manual labor of all kinds for the benefit of those willing to take advantage of free child labor. Also included in the school experience were beatings, sexual abuse and lock ups in a primitive cell. Odie was a frequent visitor to that cell because he couldn't abide by the harsh ways of the school and spoke up on numerous occasions. That summer, several things happen that lead to Odie killing a man and the Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy must go on the run. They plan to find their aunt who lives in St Paul and ask her to take them in but the journey is fraught with danger, hunger, and often a feeling of hopelessness that rivaled their time at the home. The characters make this story for me, that and Odie's story telling, which may or may not be always accurate, as he tells the story in his eighties. Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley for this ARC.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I could not put this book down and read it within three days. What a fabulous book and love how it's written. I will definitely read other books by this author.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Best book I've read in a long time. I couldn't stop reading but didn't want the story to end! Loved the protagonists, loved the setting, loved the author's writing style.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I really loved this book,
RMeckley 6 months ago
All the praise being heaped on this book is well-earned. It is a newer version of Huck Finn, with 4 travelers instead of 2 and a canoe instead of a raft, but if that evaluation scares you, just ignore it. Instead, believe that this modern classic is a beautiful, descriptive, visual, heartfelt saga of 3 boys and 1 girl trying to escape a tragic existence by navigating rivers and meeting various people while searching for a forever home in the summer of 1932. This is the first time that I have read this author but I will read him again. He tells a massive story in manageable sections, creates vivid characters both good and bad, and draws detailed environments that placed me right in the story with the kids. Outstanding!
cheller43 6 months ago
Very touching and nostalgic look at growing up without parents. Presents both the worst and best in humanity.
SardisYS 6 months ago
An eye-opening look at a time of great strife: the Great Depression. The characters and setting are real standouts. Highly recommended read.
IrishIL 7 months ago
This is one great book! It is about these 4 children that are canoeing down the Missippi, trying to find family and their:"roots". The author has made this into such an exciting trip. This is one book you do not want to miss reading. The ending will blow you away.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 7 months ago
While interlaced with an air of suspense, This Tender Land is first and foremost a character-driven novel. The story-line carries readers through the personalities of its characters, drawing on relationships and connections, just as much as it does actions. As a character study, the members of this bunch of runaways are intricate, distinct and they feel like individuals you may encounter just about anywhere. Odie is a delightful narrator, whose voice is sometimes contemplative, sometimes humourous. He serves as a historian, filling the reader in on the individuals he encounters. I found him to be complex and determined, often in good but occasionally in confusing ways. Mose was no easier to understand; he was a walking enigma, a fact which fed into the mystery surrounding his person. Yet his charisma connects him not only with every member of the troop, but also to the reader. Albert was another wonderful character, although at times I found his personality and attitude at odds with his age, he seemed so wise beyond his years. The other members of the story were engaging yet banal, as they felt like authentic snapshots from mid-west America. In all things, this book is written in the most lovely prose. I found myself captivated by the voice, lyricism, metaphor, and so on, and dwelt in the essence of the writing itself. The book was engaging due to the way it was written. This was perhaps my favorite element of the book; it’s always wonderful to be gifted with excellent literary quality. This Tender Land is an elegant tale filled with beautiful writing that captures a perfect image of the imperfect America during the depression. While largely focused on depicting individuals, the story also divulges into the magical and mysterious--for better or for worse. I recommend this book highly to those who enjoy literary fiction and books with excellent written language, as well as those who can appreciate a little magic thrown in.
Aqswr 7 months ago
The TENDER LAND is one summer’s journey for a band of children seeking refuge from a terrible situation during the Depression. Or so author William Kent Kruger would have the reader start his book believing and he does write well with prose that causes the mind to soar with imagination. But as the story progresses, this band of children meet an assortment of people and learn lessons beyond what would seem possible even for the times. It is towards the end that we realize Krueger has re-written the Odyssey with this new set of characters and location. His work is engaging and brave. This is a fascinating book, not easily forgotten. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Ratbruce 7 months ago
Being a fan of William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor mystery series I was anxious to see what he would do with another stand alone novel. I wasn't disappointed. Somewhat inspired by Huckleberry Finn, this youthful adventure on the Mississippi river had amazing characters, a well paced plot and some interesting surprises. Highly Recommended
KarenfromDothan 7 months ago
Four orphans fleeing from terrible conditions at the Lincoln Indian Training School and its horrible headmistress. They set off in a canoe down the Gilead River hoping to reach St. Louis and Aunt Julia and maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally find home. Their journey will take them places they’ve never seen before and open their eyes and hearts to a world they didn’t know existed. Odie is a wonderful narrator and tells an amazing story. He is just one of many great characters in the book. And the adventures they have are incredible. Each of the four is looking for something different, something deeply personal. This heartwarming coming-of-age story is about family and hope and discovering their true selves. One of the best books I’ve read this year, and all I can say is, it is an excellent read, one you won’t want to miss.
MamasGottaRead 7 months ago
What an absolutely resplendent tale by William Kent Krueger, one that is destined to become a classic. It was such a privilege to embark on this adventure, with four endearing young friends, in a story line the likes of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, though much more engrossing. Along the way, Mr. Krueger does a tremendous job illuminating the profound racial inequality that plagued Native Americans in the early part of the twentieth century. He intimately depicts the economic hardships of the Great Depression, going so far as to describe the makeshift communities that sprung up far and wide during these times, and even touches on the lure of Christian revivals during that time period. His characterization of reprehensible individuals is astonishing, and makes the reader cringe as the protagonist encounters them throughout the novel. Krueger balances this evil with redemptive souls, that allow the reader to recognize the good that surrounds us. I absolutely fell in love with Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy, and will not soon forget their indomitable spirit. Hold on to your seats, friends... it's going to be a wild ride! Many thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for gifting me with this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Wow, you won't want to put this one down. You will get mad at the characters and then you'll be happy for them. But I guess you'll be identifying with Odie and sympathizing with him as well as cheering him on. Very insightful into the mind of a thirteen year old (almost). I would like to follow him on in his life. 5 stars because they don't have any more.
Alfoster 7 months ago
The Odyssey meets Huck Finn in this endearing novel that is bittersweet and lovely. Four young "vagabonds" flee their abusive caregivers at school and set off in a canoe bound for St. Louis. Odie, older brother Albert, Emmy, and Mose must survive the wilderness as well as the odd and eccentric characters they meet along the way. Add to the mix a revival show and Sister Eve with her band of healers. There are both laughter and tears in this poignant tale of survival and growth as the youngsters continue their journey, never giving up hope they will find redemption in the end. And yes, they find answers and yes, the end may leave you breathless...but you will never forget this journey or these marvelous characters. I can't wait to read more of Krueger; he is magnificent! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
mweinreich 7 months ago
Books that are simply written often tell a wondrous tale. They don't need gimmicks because the writing shines through and takes a reader on a journey that is moving, loving, and ever so worthwhile reading. This Tender Land is one of those books. “Ask me, God’s right here. In the dirt, the rain, the sky, the trees, the apples, the stars in the cottonwoods. In you and me, too. It’s all connected and it’s all God. Sure this is hard work, but it’s good work because it’s a part of what connects us to this land. This beautiful, tender land." Life has always been hard for those children left behind when their parents perished and they were left orphans with no one to care for them. For the brothers Odie, who is our guide in this story, and Robert, placed into an Indian school for orphans as the only two white boys, life is ever so difficult. It's 1932, the depression is in full swing, and these children are burdened with a horrible director, Mrs. Brickman at the Lincoln School. There are others at the school a mixture of good and bad people, and as the brothers and their companions make a choice to escape they take Mose, a Native American mute boy, and Emmy, a newly acquired addition to the school with them as they travel through small towns making their way down the river searching for many things, family, connections, and peace. There are the good and the bad in this story and this group of four children discover these people in the small towns along the river they travel. Odie finds his battle with religion, a god he knows as vengeful and cruel, changes as they travel further towards their destination. There are so many difficulties along the way. Mrs Brickman, hiding a terrible secret, pursues the group, and others looking to capture the reward offered for Emmy, befriend the group in the hopes of attaining this reward. They meet a charismatic woman traveling from small town to town preaching religion, laying down hands, and seeming to cure people. Odie and the other children, except for Robert, come to trust this woman, and Odie does learn that God is not vengeful, and that life is often a series of obstacles that one overcomes through a faith in the almighty. Told with beautiful simple prose and images so vivid, this book is heartily recommended to those who so enjoy a simple story told in an eloquent manner. Thanks to William Kent Krueger, Atria Books, and Net Galley for a copy of this book due out in early September.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of This Tender Land! I can't recommend it enough. This Tender Land is a story about family, hope, belief, and growing up during one summer in 1932. With the backdrop of the Great Depression and unspeakable treatment of Native Americans, we journey with Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy, four orphans in search of home and new life. I was captivated at the start with Odie's declaration that he is a storyteller and God's final gift to us was stories. What a story Odie tells! Reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn with many other literary allusions, the story takes our four heroes from their frightful existence at the fictional Lincoln Indian Training School on a search for home and a place to belong. They encounter numerous obstacles and stay barely one step ahead of the Black Witch while meeting all sorts of people along the way. They must decide if these people can be trusted and if they can find a place to belong in each new place. Sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes inspiring, each encounter tests their faith and bond with each other as they follow the network of rivers to the Mississippi. Surprises along the way introduce historic details about the time period, and finally bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. I loved every part of this story and appreciated the author's note at the end explaining his inspiration. Thank you William Kent Kruger for Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy and their heartfelt story.