I recently talked about this book over on my new writing blog The Chorus of the Crows I'm just starting to admit to people that I'm writing a novel. And after telling my cousin Jane about my story, she noticed definite similarities with the novel she had just finished. She handed me Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and told me to read it. She said she could barely put it down. And it was her go to book for nocturnal reading sessions. So I dove right in. Research, right? During the day, mind you.
The voice of teenage Frank narrates the novel. He's the son of a Methodist minister. Unfortunately, the life of Frank and his family become awash in un-ordinary deaths. A literal laundry list of his neighbors and even sadder still, people even closer to him. The small town scene comes to life visually. The train takes off and doesn't stop. And the characters are real citizens of the time. My favorite character was Gus. He was boarding in the basement of the church across the street from the central family. And plenty of mischief ensues from that simple fact. There's a bonus for us Minnesotans too. It's set here.
Being of devious mind, I guessed what the mystery revealed in the end. But it didn't matter. It was still a great book.