Monday, September 16, 2019

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

3 Stars

This Tender Land is what would happen if Huckleberry Finn, Great Expectations, Elmer Gantry, The Odyssey and a little teeeeeeensie bit of East of Eden all had a baby . . . .

I mean, really. If you truly believe you need more, this is the story of four children who run away from the Lincoln Indian Training School in Depression Era Minnesota. It’s about their search for home, and those they come across, while making their way to the mighty Miss.

This book has a 4.50 rating on Goodreads, so chalk my mediocre reaction up to the usual turtle sucking. Blame it on all of the required reading I had to do back in my school-aged days and how this book is an amalgamation of all of my least favorites. Excluding East of Eden, but truthfully I only threw that title in there because of WARNING ACTUAL SPOILER THAT WILL SPOIL THE ENTIRE DAGGONE BOOK IF YOU CLICK IT (view spoiler).

Word to the wise for other curmudgeons: This story is 100% not realistic, so if you’re a stickler for believability you might want to take a pass. (Y’all know I kind of give a rip about whether or not something is plausible – 99.9999% of my ratings come from page turnability alone.) If you enjoy your coming of age with a lot of luck in the form of narrow escapes, coming across the right people at the right time and landing monetary windfalls when they are needed most, this might be a winner for you.

I’ve noticed high marks from many of my friends regarding one of this author’s other books (Ordinary Grace). Maybe that one will be more my style.

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