This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When someone describes a book as a "page turner", they usually mean that it is action-packed and the reader can't turn the pages fast enough to keep up. This Tender Land is a page-turner, but in the manner of a long letter from a well-loved relative regaling the reader with news both good and bad that must be both savored and rushed so as not to miss any nuance and yet get to every detail as quickly as possible. It is one of those books that leaves the reader both relieved and saddened that it is over. It must be read again.
Krueger has written a truly American epic that is often, and rightfully, compared to both The Grapes of Wrath and Huckleberry Finn. Yet it is neither of these. It is its own lovely thing. A love letter to Minnesota and the Mississippi River and a time gone by that was magical, awful and beautiful. It is a coming-of-age story for both the characters and the country. It must be read again. It definitely deserves five stars.
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