Friday, August 16, 2019

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

The Lincoln school is primarily an Indian school.  The children there have been separated from their parents.  The rational is that they can learn the ways of white people and fit in better.  In truth they become slaves to the school principal and any sign of Indian ways is beat out of them.  There are two white boys there, too.  They are orphans.  This story is about them.

Atria Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 3rd.

Odie, the youngest white boy annoys the lady who runs the school, so he spends a lot of time in the quiet room (more like solitary).  Mrs Frost is talking about hiring the boys to work on her farm and they would live with her.  Hope shines out of their eyes until a tornado goes through and kills her.  Her little daughter comes to the orphanage and the lady that runs the school (nicknamed The Black Witch) decides to raise her as her own.

When the sadistic teacher who likes to use a strap on the boys backs takes Odie out by the quarry he knows he intends to kill him.  He tries to run and falls off the edge but he lands on a ledge not too far down.  The teacher comes to look and Odie grabs the strap hanging down and pulls.  The teacher falls...

He tells his brother and they decide to run.  They know where a boat is.  They sneak the little girl out and away and Mose, a big strong Indian joins them.  They head out to their aunt in St. Louis.  They have many adventures along the way.

The tale of their journey on the water is fascinating.  They meet good and bad people.  They have the Black Witch after them.  They are lucky to get away and lucky to stay alive.

You'll never look at a river the same way anymore.  If you've traveled it before, you'll find the tale comforting and frightful both.  Give it a try.

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