This Tender Land (Signed B&N Exclusive Book)

This Tender Land (Signed B&N Exclusive Book)

by William Kent Krueger

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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This Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition is signed by William Kent Krueger and includes a bonus essay from him with archival photographs, providing insights into the compelling history behind the novel.

For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the New York Times 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982136284
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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

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This Tender Land: A Novel 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
What a fascinating story. I was born in 1931 and the author brought back many memories from my own childhood growing up in Minnesota. Thank you for the great adventure that comes with reading this marvelous book.
Anonymous 29 days ago
I absolutely loved this book! It had my attention from page 1 all the way to the very end. I never wanted it to end. I was so invested and intrigued by the characters and the plot. Fantastic read. Must read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I. Love how descriptive This tender land is. I can actually see each place described in the book. The story itself kept me wanting to keep turning each page.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I have to say that I am in awe. William Kent Krueger's book Ordinary Grace was a masterpiece in writing, and it's hard to believe that an author could create another. However, This Tender Land is exactly that: a beautiful work of art. Krueger's sensory descriptions make us live the journey with the Four Vagabonds. It's easy to fall in love with Odie, Emmy, Mose and Albert and root for them to win. I love how their quest is really about many things: the search for self, family and God. The resolutions to all are not simple yet we are satisfied with the answers given. I will miss Odie and his storytelling and all of the characters we come to know and love in this novel. Treat yourself to this book!
Karenrmicone 3 months ago
William Kent Krueger is a beautiful storyteller, and This Tender Land is more proof. I saved this book for a bit, because I knew I would want to take my time and absorb it. I was so right to do so! The Lincoln School in Minnesota is a terrible place to wind up, more so during the depression era in the United States. It is even more harsh if you are Native American. 4 children realize this all too well and take off on their own, carving out their own worlds. My review does not do this amazing book will be better for having read it.
MarilynW-Reviewer 3 days ago
My favorite thing about reading books is when I connect to the characters. We don't have to be anything alike but I have to care about them or sometimes, hate them, so much that the people seem real and I want to know what happens next in the story and with the characters. I cared about Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy but also, I cared about so many other characters in this book. The story takes place during the summer of 1932, right before Odie turns thirteen. He and his sixteen year old brother Albert are the only white children at the Lincoln School, an institution for Native American children, who were forcibly removed from their families, in order to eradicate as much of their culture from them as possible. The school is a horrible place, with the children doing manual labor of all kinds for the benefit of those willing to take advantage of free child labor. Also included in the school experience were beatings, sexual abuse and lock ups in a primitive cell. Odie was a frequent visitor to that cell because he couldn't abide by the harsh ways of the school and spoke up on numerous occasions. That summer, several things happen that lead to Odie killing a man and the Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy must go on the run. They plan to find their aunt who lives in St Paul and ask her to take them in but the journey is fraught with danger, hunger, and often a feeling of hopelessness that rivaled their time at the home. The characters make this story for me, that and Odie's story telling, which may or may not be always accurate, as he tells the story in his eighties. Thank you to Atria books and NetGalley for this ARC.
Anonymous 9 days ago
I could not put this book down and read it within three days. What a fabulous book and love how it's written. I will definitely read other books by this author.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Best book I've read in a long time. I couldn't stop reading but didn't want the story to end! Loved the protagonists, loved the setting, loved the author's writing style.
Anonymous 18 days ago
I really loved this book,
RMeckley 19 days ago
All the praise being heaped on this book is well-earned. It is a newer version of Huck Finn, with 4 travelers instead of 2 and a canoe instead of a raft, but if that evaluation scares you, just ignore it. Instead, believe that this modern classic is a beautiful, descriptive, visual, heartfelt saga of 3 boys and 1 girl trying to escape a tragic existence by navigating rivers and meeting various people while searching for a forever home in the summer of 1932. This is the first time that I have read this author but I will read him again. He tells a massive story in manageable sections, creates vivid characters both good and bad, and draws detailed environments that placed me right in the story with the kids. Outstanding!
cheller43 28 days ago
Very touching and nostalgic look at growing up without parents. Presents both the worst and best in humanity.
SardisYS 28 days ago
An eye-opening look at a time of great strife: the Great Depression. The characters and setting are real standouts. Highly recommended read.
IrishIL 3 months ago
This is one great book! It is about these 4 children that are canoeing down the Missippi, trying to find family and their:"roots". The author has made this into such an exciting trip. This is one book you do not want to miss reading. The ending will blow you away.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 3 months ago
While interlaced with an air of suspense, This Tender Land is first and foremost a character-driven novel. The story-line carries readers through the personalities of its characters, drawing on relationships and connections, just as much as it does actions. As a character study, the members of this bunch of runaways are intricate, distinct and they feel like individuals you may encounter just about anywhere. Odie is a delightful narrator, whose voice is sometimes contemplative, sometimes humourous. He serves as a historian, filling the reader in on the individuals he encounters. I found him to be complex and determined, often in good but occasionally in confusing ways. Mose was no easier to understand; he was a walking enigma, a fact which fed into the mystery surrounding his person. Yet his charisma connects him not only with every member of the troop, but also to the reader. Albert was another wonderful character, although at times I found his personality and attitude at odds with his age, he seemed so wise beyond his years. The other members of the story were engaging yet banal, as they felt like authentic snapshots from mid-west America. In all things, this book is written in the most lovely prose. I found myself captivated by the voice, lyricism, metaphor, and so on, and dwelt in the essence of the writing itself. The book was engaging due to the way it was written. This was perhaps my favorite element of the book; it’s always wonderful to be gifted with excellent literary quality. This Tender Land is an elegant tale filled with beautiful writing that captures a perfect image of the imperfect America during the depression. While largely focused on depicting individuals, the story also divulges into the magical and mysterious--for better or for worse. I recommend this book highly to those who enjoy literary fiction and books with excellent written language, as well as those who can appreciate a little magic thrown in.
Aqswr 3 months ago
The TENDER LAND is one summer’s journey for a band of children seeking refuge from a terrible situation during the Depression. Or so author William Kent Kruger would have the reader start his book believing and he does write well with prose that causes the mind to soar with imagination. But as the story progresses, this band of children meet an assortment of people and learn lessons beyond what would seem possible even for the times. It is towards the end that we realize Krueger has re-written the Odyssey with this new set of characters and location. His work is engaging and brave. This is a fascinating book, not easily forgotten. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Ratbruce 3 months ago
Being a fan of William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor mystery series I was anxious to see what he would do with another stand alone novel. I wasn't disappointed. Somewhat inspired by Huckleberry Finn, this youthful adventure on the Mississippi river had amazing characters, a well paced plot and some interesting surprises. Highly Recommended
KarenfromDothan 3 months ago
Four orphans fleeing from terrible conditions at the Lincoln Indian Training School and its horrible headmistress. They set off in a canoe down the Gilead River hoping to reach St. Louis and Aunt Julia and maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally find home. Their journey will take them places they’ve never seen before and open their eyes and hearts to a world they didn’t know existed. Odie is a wonderful narrator and tells an amazing story. He is just one of many great characters in the book. And the adventures they have are incredible. Each of the four is looking for something different, something deeply personal. This heartwarming coming-of-age story is about family and hope and discovering their true selves. One of the best books I’ve read this year, and all I can say is, it is an excellent read, one you won’t want to miss.
MamasGottaRead 3 months ago
What an absolutely resplendent tale by William Kent Krueger, one that is destined to become a classic. It was such a privilege to embark on this adventure, with four endearing young friends, in a story line the likes of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, though much more engrossing. Along the way, Mr. Krueger does a tremendous job illuminating the profound racial inequality that plagued Native Americans in the early part of the twentieth century. He intimately depicts the economic hardships of the Great Depression, going so far as to describe the makeshift communities that sprung up far and wide during these times, and even touches on the lure of Christian revivals during that time period. His characterization of reprehensible individuals is astonishing, and makes the reader cringe as the protagonist encounters them throughout the novel. Krueger balances this evil with redemptive souls, that allow the reader to recognize the good that surrounds us. I absolutely fell in love with Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy, and will not soon forget their indomitable spirit. Hold on to your seats, friends... it's going to be a wild ride! Many thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for gifting me with this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Wow, you won't want to put this one down. You will get mad at the characters and then you'll be happy for them. But I guess you'll be identifying with Odie and sympathizing with him as well as cheering him on. Very insightful into the mind of a thirteen year old (almost). I would like to follow him on in his life. 5 stars because they don't have any more.
Alfoster 3 months ago
The Odyssey meets Huck Finn in this endearing novel that is bittersweet and lovely. Four young "vagabonds" flee their abusive caregivers at school and set off in a canoe bound for St. Louis. Odie, older brother Albert, Emmy, and Mose must survive the wilderness as well as the odd and eccentric characters they meet along the way. Add to the mix a revival show and Sister Eve with her band of healers. There are both laughter and tears in this poignant tale of survival and growth as the youngsters continue their journey, never giving up hope they will find redemption in the end. And yes, they find answers and yes, the end may leave you breathless...but you will never forget this journey or these marvelous characters. I can't wait to read more of Krueger; he is magnificent! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
mweinreich 3 months ago
Books that are simply written often tell a wondrous tale. They don't need gimmicks because the writing shines through and takes a reader on a journey that is moving, loving, and ever so worthwhile reading. This Tender Land is one of those books. “Ask me, God’s right here. In the dirt, the rain, the sky, the trees, the apples, the stars in the cottonwoods. In you and me, too. It’s all connected and it’s all God. Sure this is hard work, but it’s good work because it’s a part of what connects us to this land. This beautiful, tender land." Life has always been hard for those children left behind when their parents perished and they were left orphans with no one to care for them. For the brothers Odie, who is our guide in this story, and Robert, placed into an Indian school for orphans as the only two white boys, life is ever so difficult. It's 1932, the depression is in full swing, and these children are burdened with a horrible director, Mrs. Brickman at the Lincoln School. There are others at the school a mixture of good and bad people, and as the brothers and their companions make a choice to escape they take Mose, a Native American mute boy, and Emmy, a newly acquired addition to the school with them as they travel through small towns making their way down the river searching for many things, family, connections, and peace. There are the good and the bad in this story and this group of four children discover these people in the small towns along the river they travel. Odie finds his battle with religion, a god he knows as vengeful and cruel, changes as they travel further towards their destination. There are so many difficulties along the way. Mrs Brickman, hiding a terrible secret, pursues the group, and others looking to capture the reward offered for Emmy, befriend the group in the hopes of attaining this reward. They meet a charismatic woman traveling from small town to town preaching religion, laying down hands, and seeming to cure people. Odie and the other children, except for Robert, come to trust this woman, and Odie does learn that God is not vengeful, and that life is often a series of obstacles that one overcomes through a faith in the almighty. Told with beautiful simple prose and images so vivid, this book is heartily recommended to those who so enjoy a simple story told in an eloquent manner. Thanks to William Kent Krueger, Atria Books, and Net Galley for a copy of this book due out in early September.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of This Tender Land! I can't recommend it enough. This Tender Land is a story about family, hope, belief, and growing up during one summer in 1932. With the backdrop of the Great Depression and unspeakable treatment of Native Americans, we journey with Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy, four orphans in search of home and new life. I was captivated at the start with Odie's declaration that he is a storyteller and God's final gift to us was stories. What a story Odie tells! Reminiscent of Huckleberry Finn with many other literary allusions, the story takes our four heroes from their frightful existence at the fictional Lincoln Indian Training School on a search for home and a place to belong. They encounter numerous obstacles and stay barely one step ahead of the Black Witch while meeting all sorts of people along the way. They must decide if these people can be trusted and if they can find a place to belong in each new place. Sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes inspiring, each encounter tests their faith and bond with each other as they follow the network of rivers to the Mississippi. Surprises along the way introduce historic details about the time period, and finally bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. I loved every part of this story and appreciated the author's note at the end explaining his inspiration. Thank you William Kent Kruger for Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy and their heartfelt story.
Anonymous 3 months ago
If you only read one book this year (an absurd idea) then pick this one. It is simply magnificent and brought me to my knees. It is, by far, the best book I have read this year and I think it is destined to be a modern classic. It is a deceptively simple story. The author calls it a retelling of [book:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|2956] with a tribute to Sinclair Lewis but I see an homage to [book:To Kill a Mockingbird|2657] in it. It is set in Minnesota during the Great Depression. Two brothers are sent to one of the infamous Native American schools when they are orphaned even though they are white. Here the Native Americans are turned into "men" by depriving them of their language, their clothes and their customs, in one of our most shameful chapters in our history. There they make friends with Moses, a Sioux, who is found by his murdered mother's body with his tongue cut out at a very young age. In spite of horrific conditions they are befriended by several faculty members including the widowed home economics teacher with a 6 year old daughter, Emmy. Events occur that force the three boys and Emmy to flee in a canoe down the Gilead River headed for St. Louis. They are pursued by the evil head of the school known as the Black Witch. The story is told by 80 something Odie remembering back to that time. Odie is the youngest boy at 12 and he recounts the adventures they had both good and bad. He also struggles with his vision of God that he calls a Tornado God. The people he meets make such lasting impressions and teach such life lessons. I don't want to go into detail and spoil the surprises and delights. The young boys learn what kind of people they will be. Will they help others? Will they turn bitter or defeated? What kind of choices will they make? It reminds me of Scout when she is faced with injustice and the choices she must make. Injustice is everywhere. It's not only the Native Americans but in a terrific chapter set in St. Paul it's the Irish cops against the Jewish population. The backdrop of the Depression really makes the story sing. My parents grew up in the Great Depression and those stories still resonate with me. In this story it talks about the people who live in villages called Hoovervilles named after President Hoover that are made of cardboard with tin roofs. There the homeless and the foreclosed cast offs join together to survive. It is in one of those towns that Odie finds his first love. Odie ends the story by saying, "In every good tale there is a seed of truth, and from that seed a lovely story grows. Some of what I've told you is true and some ... well, let's just call it the bloom on the rosebush." It's the perfect ending to a perfect book. Please do yourself a favor and read this. My thanks to Netgalley, Atria Books and mostly to William Kent Krueger.
KMS49 3 months ago
This book is amazing..... I did need kleenex as I read parts of this book... It is a great tale of what people went through... It took me two days to read and that should tell you how good it was.... I just couldn't put it down. I love William Kent Krueger's Corcoran O'Connor series and didn't think anything could compare... Well Kent you did it.... Now ready for another amazing book from you!!!
357800 3 months ago
SO. DAMN. GOOD. "Of all that we're asked to give others in this life, the most difficult to offer may be forgiveness." It all begins in HELL and some of what's told here is true. "What happened in the summer of 1932 is most important to those who experienced it, and there are not many of us left." Odie O'Banion's life actually began in the Missouri Ozark country, but now orphaned in Minnesota, he and older brother Albert need a miracle to get out of Lincoln School, the only white boys in a school for indian children. Odie is a tough little ingenious fellow who plays a mean harmonica, tells a great story, and always....always seems to cause trouble resulting in yet another visit to the cell...better known as the quiet room. But don't let the name fool you, it's not so quiet when DiMarco shows up to do Thelma the black-hearted witches' bidding. Whenever there seems to be a ray of hope for Odie and Albert to escape a horrendous work assignment or the wrath of the witch, disaster or tragedy shows its ugly face. But one day, after a fierce tornado....and another failed plan, Odie, Albert, friend Mose, a Sioux Indian and little gifted Emmy find themselves on the run and wanted by authorities....for much more than just escape from the horrors of the school. Taking the canoe down the Gilead toward the Mississippi and their new destination is a dangerous journey wrought with many perils, so many they meet desperate and struggling to survive making life scary for the youngsters....and it's not just humans who are looming....there's Lucifer. THIS TENDER LAND is a wonderful coming-of-age adventure, a story of hard times, and hopefulness that carries a religious undertone with children that seem wise and capable beyond their years, but also make poor, life threatening decisions as they venture forward toward their dreams for a better future. As with Krueger's ORDINARY GRACE, another winner for this reader! ***What a memorable novel to have as my 200th NetGalley read! Arc provided by Atria Books in exchange for an honest review***