• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

ICYMI: thirteen-year-old Frank Dunn experiences crises of faith during the unforgettably complicated and tragic summer of 1961 in his small Minnesota town.

In small-town Minnesota in 1961, thirteen-year-old Frank Dunn is focused on following the inaugural season of The Twins, reading comic books, and drinking cold root beer floats from the local soda fountain.


But when tragedy strikes the community (and specifically Frank's family: his minister father, artistic mother, musically talented sister, and his jaded younger brother), Frank must grow up quickly.


Lies, betrayals, secrets, adultery, accidents, suicide, and murder shape the lives of those in New Bremen that fateful summer, and the Frank of forty years later recounts the mysteries and realizations that shaped him at the cusp of young adulthood.


Krueger's characters felt real and appealingly faulted. I feared that the story was going to involve characters continually making bad decisions, which is a setup I have a difficult time reading, but Krueger offered more. The story grew and the characters evolved in a satisfying way.


The "grace" of the title refers to the grace of God that Frank experiences during the crises and uncertainty and pain of that summer.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I'm reading (listening to) Krueger's This Tender Land and will share a review of that book soon.


Krueger has also written eighteen books in his Cork O'Connor mystery series, including Desolation Mountain.