This Tender Land

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Oh.my.goodness.⁣
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This book rocked my world y’all. ⁣
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♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️⁣
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The story is lovely, the characters delightful, the writing absolutely magnificent. This book is a masterpiece. I never wanted it to end! The author is a master storyteller with an awe-inspiring ability to leave the reader in love with humanity and in gratitude of this world we get to live in. My heart overflows after finishing This Tender Land. ⁣
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Don’t let the size of this book deter you! I flew through this story, it’s one that is easy to get swept up in. ⁣
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This book landed firmly on my favorite books of all time. All of the stars for this gem! ♥️ ⁣
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Thank you @atriabooks for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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A masterpiece of a book by William Kent Krueger. This Tender Land is a story about four young children who escape from a terrible experience within a boarding school where they were suffering abuse and neglect. They travelled down the Mississippi River to St. Louis during the Depression and had various trials and tribulations along the way. None of this would have been easy for them but through family and faith, they persevered. This historical references in this book were for events that are largely ignored in our view of history of the USA and for that reason as well as the phenomenal writing, this book should be on the required reading list for our high school or college aged youth in this country. I received this from NetGalley for a review but loved it so much that when Book of the Month offered it, I opted to receive the final copy as well.
Highly recommend.
#This TenderLand #NetGalley #AtriaBooks
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What a beautiful and bittersweet tale this wonderful novel is. It's a true American epic that anyone can find themselves in as the four main characters go on a journey searching for freedom and, in turn, finding themselves. Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy are a great cast with each one bringing something unique to the story and I loved them all. Odie is a great narrator, a storyteller himself, and the past tense memoir-esque tone is the perfect voice for this coming-of-age tale. This group of four all grow so much in the story with their own subplots and I enjoyed hearing about their futures in the epilogue. I would've loved to have known them in real life.  

At times this novel made me think of Huck Finn or those classic Americana stories we all know but, there's plenty of darkness in the story too as the four kids experience life outside of the school. In their travels they're confronted with alcoholism, violence, cons, and the repercussions of the Great Depression economy and WWI. They meet adults who've been impacted by these things and each new set of characters (Jack, Sister Eve, Maybeth and her family) adds both to the overall story and each of the main four characters' development. And the ending was pure wow! Those last forty pages or so are so surprising and yet everything falls into just the right place in the end.

It flows along like the river itself, this story. Time just slips away as you enjoy it. When I finished reading, I truly felt like I'd been on an amazing, life-changing journey with some new best friends. It was perfect. It's the kind of story that just sits on your heart afterward and you think, "Wow, what a lovely time that was."


Note: I received a free Kindle edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Atria Books, and the author William Kent Krueger for the opportunity to do so.
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This Tender Land is a beautiful story, and one that has made it onto my "favorite books: list. I will definitely be purchasing a copy for my bookshelf.

This is a coming of age story, set during The Great Depression, about four orphans who flee their abusive headmistress at The Lincoln School. They take a canoe up the Mississippi River towards St. Louis, and this is the story of their journey and the people they meet along the way, as they discover what friendship, family, and faith means to them.

I loved these characters and their survival story. This is the next perfect novel for anyone who loved The Great Alone and Where the Crawdads Sing. 

Thank you to Atria Books via NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book!
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.

Odie and his brother are residents of a boarding school led by a tyrannical superintendent.  But once it becomes clear that they can no longer safely stay there, they take two of their friends and flee, having a myriad of adventures along the way.

This very much smacks of Huck FInn and Where the Crawdads Sing.  It's an adventure story, rich with dangers, romance, quirky characters and close calls.  The protagonist is full of life and pepper, and is constantly getting himself into trouble.  It's delightful and colorfully written.

However, surprisingly, it grew tired for me quickly.  The make-shift "family" just seemed to hop around from one situation to more of the same.  It took so long to get where they were going that I lost interest in the journey, something that I'm ashamed to admit because I usually love the journey.  Perhaps I just didn't read this at the right time.
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Beautifully written. I loved everything....the characters, the setting, the story...the journey. 
One of the best books I've read this year. I can't wait to read and discuss it with my book club.
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This book was like a slow burn. It was very depressing, sad and hard to read. It took me a long time to get through this book, but in the end it was a good read. The last 15% really picked up and made the book a 4 star read. It took place during the Great Depression and the main characters were children living at a school for orphans. The powerlessness of the children was heavy and I found myself having to set the book down. The ending was good and I was happy that the author put an epilogue. Recommended for anyone who likes realistic fiction set in the past.
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This book follows the four children, the Vagabonds, on a journey down the Mississippi River towards destinations that each one is searching for. These children are brought closer together and also pulled apart as they meet all sorts of characters along the way. The story moves through quickly through this summer of their lives and we see it all from the point of view of the storyteller, Odie. I absolutely loved these characters. I felt like Krueger did a fantastic job of developing them each with a unique personality, where each one was important to the team as a whole. Even the supporting characters felt as if they carried so much weight and that the story depended on them. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns that happened and how the story never ceased to hold my attention. The way Krueger ties in the history of the great depression and the society and turmoil that people were living in was done in such an elegant way. I felt like I was able to get into the society that was laid before me and be a vagabond on this journey too.
 I am so glad that I got the chance to read this new novel and will definitely be looking for more from William Kent Krueger in the future.
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I loved the novel The Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.  This is a story of four orphans and their somewhat unconventional journey.  These orphans are escaping a horrible school that repeatedly tortures the students.  The loyalty these orphans show each other is incredible!   These orphans even take a willing young girl called Emmy with them because she has recently become an orphan and they do not want her sent to this horrendous school.  There are themes of redemption, religion, and family and its many forms, and Indian history to name just a few.  I thought about these characters long after I had finished the novel.  I’m sure you will enjoy it as well.
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I chose this based on previews and loved it! Everyone is comparing it To Where The Crawdads Sing and it is a right and just comparison. A masterpiece. I don't want to give anything away but will tell you to read this book as it will be read for years to come!
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This was a beautifully written story about friendship and family.  The characters were so well developed and you really felt like you knew them.
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I was a little skeptical of this book. 450 pages and historical fiction. I always like my books under 400 pages. I’m trying to be more open minded about the page number. Also, the hype made me skeptical. But I really enjoyed this one! I was always looking forward to reading it to find out what was going to happen. I do think it dragged a little at times but it was all brought together really nicely at the end. The ending really bumped up the rating for me. I love Odie and his determination. You can’t help but root for these 4 the whole story. I love the family they made despite not being all blood related and how they managed to look past all the tragic events that happened to them. There were some twists at the end I didn’t exactly see coming. I can’t imagine being an orphan and living under the circumstances they did at the Lincoln school or trying to survive on their own. While this is heartbreaking at times it really was a nice story. I recommend this one for anyone a fan of historical fiction or rooting for the good guys!
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"Be like children and open ourselves to every beautiful possibility, for there is nothing our hearts can imagine that is not so." 

I thoroughly enjoyed this coming of age tale as told through the eyes of 4 orphans. They call themselves the "Vagabonds" and they are as diverse as the people they meet on their adventure.

Set during the great depression, the story starts off in an American Indian "reform school" and introduces us to a pair of brothers, Odie & Albert, who find themselves at the school after the death of their father. They make quick friends with Mose, a mute Sioux, and Emmy, the daughter of one of the teachers. The four come together to try to find hope in very bleak circumstances as there is much abuse of the students - from starvation to over working to locking them in closets. 

They eventually escape and set off on a grand adventure. This book introduces us to so many wonderful characters along the way as it follows many of the unique moments of the Depression. There's struggling farmers, a group of Christian Revivalists, people making do in Hooverville, and there's even a brothel! The antics & friendships are the heart of this novel.

I loved learning more about this era and the friendships formed with the kids. My only 1/2 star knock off would be the "supernatural element" revealed towards the end. I don't think it was needed at all and actually took away from the story. I think it would have just been better told as having faith or hope but not actual magical powers. That aspect took away from this landing in historical history category for me. 

But the friendships and journey are as good as Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and the author does an incredible job describing the American landscape of this era. This will easily go down as a new literary classic.
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What an amazing book! An amazing adventure of four orphans who leave a terrible place to try to find their spot in this world, a home. Very rich in character development and well written. Don't miss this one! I enjoyed it very much! One of the best books I've read this year!
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Many thanks, Netgalley! 
Atria Books 📚📚 you Rock!
All opinions are my own.
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Oh how I enjoy a good tale by William Kent Krueger, one of my favorite and most recommended authors! If you want to really get lost in a story, read this book or his Ordinary Grace. And I love the fact that both books are coming of age stories told from the adult view looking back on memories of childhood. This one was a little slow at the start for me but I was easily distracted. The last part of the book though just wrapped everything up in a tidy bow, perfectly. I highly recommend this one for anyone who loves coming of age stories of historical fiction.
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During the Great Depression of the 1930s, four orphans, ages 16 downwards, create their own family and escape the abusive Lincoln School for Indians in Minnesota, heading to St.Louis in a canoe. Murder, mayhem, and magic ensue. Nurturing hope, pursued by evil throughout their entire journey, they are helped and harmed in turn by the other people they encounter. On the rivers and in the towns they meet gamblers and thieves, whores and liars, faith healers and phantoms—both good and bad among them, the flotsam and jetsam of humans caught up in a time of huge upheaval.

This novel is a fantastic story of the real America, still on hand, with its hustlers and innocents trampled. Krueger also highlights the spiritual life of youth in this coming of age story: their sense of justice and mercy, their judgements of self and others, their seemingly clear vision of the hypocrisy of adults, their sense of wonder and gratitude.

This Tender Land is an adventurous and tender book. Though his villains have progressed to a place beyond redemption in this life, hurting children for their own ends, Krueger still leaves us with compassion for those who make bad choices in life and hope for those in horrific circumstances.

As I read, the adventures of Huckleberry Finn immediately came to mind, and indeed in the afterward the author pays homage to Twain. The rascal Huck was always more adult than Tom Sawyer—he had to be—and the technique of telling the story from the perspective of a main character recalling (and probably embellishing) the past works really well here. William Kent Krueger is a great writer, but like his narrator, he’s a wonderful storyteller, moving things along while making us care—and that’s harder.

There’s something for everyone in this book: drama, humor, and heart—with a touch of magic and mystery as well. It would make a fantastic read-aloud to share, an engaging book club book. It really is one for the ages, I hope to become a classic—one of the best books of the year. (Thanks to Atria and Netgalley for the digital review copy.)
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This Tender Land

Brother Kreuger has hit it out of the ballpark (Mose at bat??) again! Huckleberry Finn, The Goonies, Holes and O, Brother Where Art Thou all rolled together might have made something pretty darn close to this starlit book! Such a great read, hitting all the high notes for me: outrage, despair, loss, joy, sorrow, regret, tension, adventure, companionship, “family”, identity and compassion. Set in the 30’s, a time period of particular interest to me, and a state I’ve never been, I soaked up this tale, wide-eyed and insatiable. It’s new favorite for me.

I am fascinated with the dance this author does on that crazy ledge of divine intervention: blessing or curse? That very question hangs over my life in its entirety – a thick, familiar mist. On one side there is all that falls on the side of heaven’s direct gift/answer/word, and on the other there is that nasty bite, heavenly rebuke, proved by another beloved person/place/thing zapped away! Either Amazed or Bereft we process, as these four children (ish) do: am I deserving? am I in deeper debt? was it my fault? Did I have too much faith? Not enough? How many times have I heard it bitterly said, “Don’t expect anything. Then you won’t be disappointed.” Albert’s question to Odie: What does a shepherd do, Odie? What do they do?? It took my breath away. . . .for a long time. So many good thoughts sprang out of my reading of this book. One. At. A. Time.

I love the characters, and love the love the author has for his story, telling it with all the care and attention of a new lover. Even his endnote mentions that attention, sitting on the very rock where . . .oh. Yeah. No spoilers.

Fine. 5k stars from me. (OK. I've dropped a few breadcrumbs. . . . .)

A sincere thanks to William Kent Krueger, Atria Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Set in Minnesota during the summer of 1932, this beautifully written story is about four orphans on a life-changing journey.
They escape from the Lincoln School, a hellish place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. They flee in a canoe heading for the Mighty Mississippi.
The children journey into the unknown and cross paths with a variety of wonderfully created characters, searching for a place to call their own.
This story embraces hardship and cruelty, humanity and love, murder and redemption. Most of all, it is about hope.
I highly recommend this novel which is one of my favorites of 2019.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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This Tender Land by William Kent Drueger is a moving tale of friendship, hope,  overcoming hardship, and just a touch of mysticism. If The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Inland had a baby, it would be this book. Four orphans escape an orphanage in Minnesota where they are beaten and mistreated and set out on a hopeful, and life-changing journey along the rivers that connect to the Mississippi, on their way to St Louis. 

The book takes place during the Great Depression and paints such a vivid picture of life in those times that you’ll swear you saw it with your own eyes. My Grandmother would have been the exact same age as our narrator Odie O’Banion in 1932 and reading this book prompted me to do more research about what life would have been like in rural America then.

This is a wonderful book, although heartbreaking at times, and I definitely recommend it. I also listened to the audiobook and it was narrated beautifully by Scott Brick. Even when I wasn’t listening to it, I found myself fondly thinking about the characters and wondering what would happen next.
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I love a book that I want to share with others and will want on my shelves for years to come. This tender book is all that and more. I agree with all the classic comparisons to Huckleberry Finn, perhaps The Grapes of Wrath and a bit of Wizard of Oz thrown in.  I loved the writing, characters and descriptions of our country in the throws of the Great Depression.  I almost wanted to have read the author notes before the book to really appreciate all that he included to make it so absorbing.  Krueger is amazing. The ending seemed a bit rushed which is a problem I have with most books I read.  Almost too many storylines intertwining at the end for me with one aspect being too far fetched but it was still brilliant.  Here’s hoping this book can sweep Crawdads from the best seller list because this book has important messages about what it means to be family and how important home should be to all of us. 

Thank you for the opportunity to review.  It was worth the wait after Ordinary Grace another classically great novel.
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