“Ordinary Grace” is a page-turner

Ordinary Grace is a page-turner

I love to read. I enjoy being wrapped up in an entirely different world, living alongside the other characters, and watching as they solve the challenges that they face. Oftentimes, I fall back on my favorite genre, historical fiction, because of its ability to transport me to another era.

In a recent effort to expand my repertoire of genres, I introduced some mystery alongside my love for historical fiction by reading the novel “Ordinary Grace.”

“Ordinary Grace,” written by William Kent Krueger, follows 13-year-old Frank in the summer of 1961 as he deals with the multiple deaths that occurred in the small town of New Bremen, Minnesota. As he follows the journey of grief, he also goes on a mission to find the people responsible for some of the deaths.

Readers will be pleasantly surprised by this novel. It was a page-turner, not in the sense of suspense, but because of the connection that readers will feel with the characters. As they each handled their grief differently, readers won’t be able to help but feel it alongside them. The setting was incredibly detailed, including big moments, such as the debut of the Twins baseball team, which made it seem more realistic.

As with any mystery novel, there were multiple suspects believed to be tied to some of the deaths; however, the investigation of the suspects was constructed differently compared to most mystery novels. Instead of gradually investigating multiple suspects throughout the novel, reviewing the cases multiple times, suspects were quickly eliminated and rarely mentioned as a suspect again after they had been cleared. I appreciated this stylistic choice since it was easier to keep track of potential suspects being investigated. It was less confusing than managing many small details throughout the entirety of the novel. This layout added to the suspense as the suspect pool dwindled, forcing readers to look at other characters that they had not originally thought of.

This novel appeared to be written using the technique of stream of consciousness. Since the novel was narrated by Frank 40 years after the events had occurred, the choice to use this technique made it feel like Frank was telling the story verbally instead of having a perfectly polished- typed format. If you are a stickler for proper punctuation, prepare yourself for many run-on sentences throughout this novel! After a while it is unnoticeable, but it does take a bit of getting used to!

All-in-all, Krueger’s novel, “Ordinary Grace,” was a unique, suspenseful, and meaningful read. Those who want an engaging, yet effortless, read should consider adding this novel to their shelf. With complex characters, situations, and secrets, readers are in for a rollercoaster of a journey as they pass through the summer of 1961 alongside Frank!