Ordinary Grace, a novel by William Kent Krueger, begins with these words: “All the dying that summer began with the death of a child, a boy with golden hair and thick glasses, killed on the railroad tracks outside New Bremen, Minnesota…”(p 1). As the summer unfolds, further tragedy threatens to strangle the faith of Frank, his brother, and his parents. The book is narrated by Frank, who, with the perspective of 40 years, concedes that “in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God” (p 1). Frank’s father is the pastor of several small churches. He navigates the deep struggles of maintaining his faith in God despite the tragic events in his own family.
This is a book of not just survival, but of victory and triumph, discovering God’s miracles and grace in the ordinary, in the day to day search for meaning and purpose. This is a story of forgiveness and acceptance and finally, of finding peace. This is the story each of us must discover if we are to live as hopeful people in a broken and hurting world.