This Tender Land: A Novel (Hardcover)
At the intersection of coming of age and adventure, This Tender Land recounts a river voyage in the Summer of 1936 of a group of children who become the "found family" that their birth families never were. You will fall in love with these children as they deal with adversity and tragedy with indomitable hope.— From What Christopher is reading
If you need to escape into a great book, this is it! You'll fall in love with the tribe of kids and their daring river adventure toward a better life. For fans of David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.— From What Nicole is reading
I feel in love with Odie and The Vagabonds and was swept up in their Odyssey canoeing rivers to new beginnings, new friends and their escape from bad conditions. This is full of great characters, spiritual revelations and wonderful, kind, big-hearted everyday heroes. Their journey teaches them who they are and whom to consider family. I was reminded of Steinbeck, Dickens and Twain – there’s a little of Oliver and Huck in Odie. And just like Odie, Krueger is a master storyteller, his writing shines and carries the reader along with the characters. This is downright a great read and destined to be an American classic.— From What Karin is Reading
A wondrous new novel from the Minnesotan author of "Ordinary Grace. I fell in love with the writing and with the two young boys, Albert and Odie, full of vim and vigor yet unable to lead a normal life at the punishing Lincoln Indian Training School; a charity place mostly for Native American children forced from their families, truly a place of wrath and tears. This tale takes place over one summer during the Great Depression as the boys and two other lovable orphans escape and launch off on their own in a canoe down the mighty Mississippi River with the American landscape as a haunting, dangerous yet beatific backdrop. This story is riveting and an absolute must-read. A coming-of-age Odyssey. Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.— From What Lisa is Reading
September 2019 Indie Next List
“The work of a master storyteller about the making of a young storyteller, This Tender Land is a coming-of-age novel for the ages. It begins in an isolated Dickensian boarding school in Minnesota during the early years of the Depression, then morphs into the story of four runaways in a canoe à la Huckleberry Finn. On the run from their school headmistress and the law, they encounter other wanderers and escapees from life as they canoe towards St. Louis to find their only known relative and a possible home. Odie, his brother Albert, their schoolmate Mose, and newly orphaned Emmy are unforgettable characters in an unforgiving era. Epic, thrilling, and beautifully written, this is storytelling at its very best.”
— Renee Barker, The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, you’ll love This Tender Land...This story is as big-hearted as they come.” —Parade
A magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the bestselling author of Ordinary Grace.
1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.
Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an enthralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.
About the Author
William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary Grace, winner of the Edgar Award for best novel, as well as eighteen Cork O’Connor novels, including Desolation Mountain and Sulfur Springs. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at WilliamKentKrueger.com.
Praise for This Tender Land
“If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, you’ll love This Tender Land by best-selling author William Kent Krueger. This story is as big-hearted as they come.“ —Parade Magazine
“A picaresque tale of adventure during the Great Depression. Part Grapes of Wrath, part Huckleberry Finn, Krueger’s novel is a journey over inner and outer terrain toward wisdom and freedom.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Crafted in exquisitely beautiful prose, this is a story to be treasured – outstanding and unforgettable.” —Historical Novel Review
"If you’re among the millions who raced through Where the Crawdads Sing this year and are looking for another expansive, atmospheric American saga, look to the latest from Krueger." —Entertainment Weekly
"Long, sprawling, and utterly captivating, readers will eat up every delicious word of it.” —New York Journal of Books
"Absorbing and wonderfully-paced, this fictional narrative set against historical truths mesmerizes the reader with its evocations of compassion, courage, and self-discovery. . . THIS TENDER LAND is a gripping, poignant tale swathed in both mythical and mystical overtones." —Bob Drury, New York Times bestselling author of The Heart of Everything That Is
"More than a simple journey; it is a deeply satisfying odyssey, a quest in search of self and home. Richly imagined and exceptionally well plotted and written, the novel is, most of all, a compelling, often haunting story that will captivate both adult and young adult readers." —Booklist
"Rich with graceful writing and endearing characters...this is a book for the ages." —Denver Post
Praise for Ordinary Grace, winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel
"Pitch-perfect...I loved this book.” —Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Live by Night and The Given Day
“Krueger’s elegy for innocence is a deeply memorable tale.” —Washington Post
“Krueger aims higher and hits harder with a standalone novel that shares much with his other work....A novel that transforms narrator and reader alike.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Once in a blue moon a book drops down on your desk that demands to be read. You pick it up and read the first page, and then the second, and you are hooked. Such a book is Ordinary Grace…This is a book that makes the reader feel better just by having been exposed to the delights of the story. It will stay with you for quite some time and you will always remember it with a smile.” —Huffington Post
“The tone is much like To Kill a Mockingbird, with its combination of dread and nostalgia.”—Detroit News