This Tender Land

This Tender Land

A Novel

eBook - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"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.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 15, 2021

AMAZING!!!!!!!!my new favourite author

Feb 20, 2021

I agree with IrmaReader somewhat. The journey of four orphans during the depression years and the characters they met along the way was interesting enough but for the youngest orphan who appears much older and wiser than she actually is. The ending seemed to be thrown together haphazardly and then ended.

JCLJenV Feb 10, 2021

A great historical fiction novel about a group of children and an adventure they have together over the course of a summer. Themes of religion, life traveling along a river, and the struggles of Native American people at the beginning of the 1900’s.

Jan 20, 2021

Native children escape orphanage to find a place in the world. Tale of their journey. Good read.

Jan 15, 2021

This Tender Land by William Kent Kruger is a great read. Characters your heart will embrace: a plot that moves in twists and turns, and a lot characters to root for - makes this a perfect book to lose yourself in. Set 90 years ago in the Minnesota four orphans have banded together to find there way. I recommend it.

Jan 13, 2021

If you want a religious book, this is it. About halfway through, it's all religion. The jacket synopsis doesn't state this at all and is another of Krueger's bait and switch books. He freely admits that he heavily borrows from Homer and Twain and it shows. The ending is as if he grabbed ideas out of the blue. He really should take a sabbatical from writing for a while until he gets focus.

Dec 25, 2020

I thought this book was a masterpiece. I liked it much better than Ordinary Grace, which I barely remember. I highly recommend This Tender Land.

Nov 22, 2020

Great book! What a talent and gift is William Kent Kreuger. Interesting time period, great characters, well paced plot, satisfying ending. I don't know how it could have been better.

Nov 15, 2020

This is one of those books that's an instant classic. Beautifully written, with memorable characters and an amazing plot that kept me engaged throughout - with a surprise twist towards the end. I loved the author's homage to The Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finn, The Wizard of Oz and The Odyssey. Rather than describing the plot, which you can read from many of the other reviews or the publisher's description, I simply and strongly urge you read this wonderful book.

Nov 05, 2020

This was a touch too long, and a bit too sweetly sentimental, but I mostly enjoyed it. The Native American character of Forrest made me feel squirmy though. He was kind of a stereotype, and spouted some mystical nonsense about the Sioux that made me cringe.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at MBLN

To Top