This Tender Land - William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger

  • Release Date: 2019-09-03
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 1,406 Ratings



“If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, you’ll love This Tender Land...This story is as big-hearted as they come.” —Parade

The unforgettable story of four orphans who travel the Mississippi River on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression.

In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, Odie O’Banion is an orphan confined to the Lincoln Indian Training School, a pitiless place where his lively nature earns him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee after committing a terrible crime, 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 summer, these four orphans 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.


  • Very entertaining....

    By Bahenry99
    Well written and paced. Character development is excellent and transformative. The Author captures the true feelings of the time in history through the shared experiences of the four Vagabonds. A must read.
  • Grippin

    By MacPro1
    William Kent Krueger is a born story-teller. Loved this book from start to finish. Couldn’t put it down... even after I finished it, and read the epilogue, I was still wishing for more. I’ll miss these vagabonds.
  • Loved it and highly recommend this one.

    By Gumdrop46
    Captivating yarn!

    By kaykaybean13
    A story of 2 brothers left in the ward of a school that was for Indian children who were orphans. Years of abuse from the headmaster and her husband, they escape with their best friend, Mose an Indian who’s tongue has been cut out and through sign language, which the boys knew fluently bc their mother was deaf they communitvatw. With them went their favorite teachers daughter who was captive of the headmasters after a horrible tornado. Through their travels as young children, by canoe they came upon wonderful and frightening adults who had met them along their travels from Minnesota towards St. Louis in search of their Aunt Julia. They were being hunted by the headmasters, who’d told police Emmy, the little girl they took from the horrible circumstances that she’d been kidnapped, they were hiding from the law and their quest for a home in St Louis was a difficult yet beautiful one embarked by 4 REMARKABLE children
  • One of My Top 3 Bools of 2020

    By Josey86
    One of my favourite books of 2020. It was a wonderful, emotional rollercoaster of an escape from the madness that has been this year. It’s well worth the read. I’ve seen this book compared to Huckleberry Finn, but this is so much better than that. The characters are so loveable. They all have a purpose, warm hearts, and genuine love for each other.
  • Very good Book!

    By Nunajjo
    This was a great story! Very exciting but also for some reason very relaxing and very well written! Would definitely recommend!
  • This Tender Land

    By Lindylou39
    The type of book that you can't put down, but as you near the end, you are tempted to slow down because you don't want it to end! Once again, a book that tells the story of hardships in life that so many young children, particularly during the depression years, suffered unnecessarily at the hands of greedy and plain mean adults! The Native American children were certainly ill treated and cruelly kidnapped from their tribes under the false pretense of it being " for their own good". I could not stop reading. It did not seem to be the length that it is! How I hated the "Black Witch" as did the four vagabonds! Yet, there were redeeming caring adults who were sympathetic to the needs of the "family"of four youngsters. The adults who did so, were honest and kind and generous to share what little they had out of genuine concern for their welfare. Wonderful, believable characters, even the mean ones were truly despicable! I would highly recommend this book!
  • Wonderful book

    By Rob Alsbury
    One of the best stories I’ve ever read. Amazing American classic
  • A little overdone but worth your time

    By writerAtl
    Someone described this as a book you would like if you enjoyed “I Know Where The Crawdad Sings” and that is not a fair comparison. Crawdad is a better crafted story. But this book is worth your time. You will care about the characters and nearly get whiplash from all the plot twists. The author clearly did a lot of research to inform his story and I appreciate the added effort.
  • This Tender Land

    By M le Bon
    This is a wonderful story that has helped me pass time during the Covid 19 isolation. As my family and I struggle through the uncertainty of our time, it was comforting to watch these characters work their way through the terrible uncertainty of the Great Depression. Graceful writing, tender stories and vivid scenes remind me that this is a beautiful world that begs us to look for the simple beauty all around us. This is a book to savor.