Publication Date: March 2013
Categories: Literary, Mystery, Coming of Age
Source: My own copy
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family— which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother— he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.
Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
Who doesn’t adore a good coming of age tale? I do, especially when it’s done right. This was done more
Followers of this blog might know that I’m not a big book buyer. There is no way I could afford to sustain my reading habit. I bought this because I’d been hearing wonderful things and because the author is visiting my local indie bookstore at the end of this month. I’m so glad that I did.
The setting of this novel warmed my heart. Small town Minnesota, so similar to my own small town Wisconsin upbringing. Of course I felt a connection there, even if I did grow up a couple of decades after these boys.
I felt a connection to the characters as well. Frank…oh Frank. One day his biggest adventure is peeking at his neighbor’s undergarments on her clothesline. Soon he is facing things that are hard for adults to handle. His younger brother Jake was wonderful. This sweet boy with a stutter made my heart ache.
There were times while reading this that I had a painful lump in my throat. There were also times that I couldn’t help but smile until my face ached. This book was an absolute blessing to read and I’m proud to have it on my shelf.