A thoughtful and moving book, one with a plot made complex both by events and by the characters' internal struggles. There is a mystery, crimes to be solved, but the book is really more about growing up, or maybe more accurately, about maturing and gaining wisdom, no matter what your age. It's also about faith, but there is no preaching, only the kind of quiet, personal belief that upholds and strengthens the believer. It's about coping with death, and coping with life. Krueger's calm, spare style perfectly matches the tone of the book, and makes the narration by young Frankie entirely believable. This is one I'll remember.
This was a very good read. A little different writing then Krueger's O'connor books. The story is based in a small MN town, written in the first person of a 13 year old pastor's son. It showed how people deal with life differently when a child disappears from a family. Even more important is how a pastor and his family deals with it. The book showed the human side of all of us. Krueger does a great job of taking the reader into society in the early 1960's.
It took me awhile to get into this book and I almost gave up on it. I'm so glad I didn't. By the middle of the book I couldn't put it down and it turned out to be an emotional and satisfying book for me. There is a mystery to be solved but I feel the story is more about feelings and human reaction to hard times. I had the mystery worked out before it was revealed but that did not distract from the book.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Started it and, for the most part, did not stop until I was finished. Primarily what I would term a "character novel", but certainly the mystery of the deaths is a strong, continuing thread. Felt Kreuger's style of prose was well suited to the subject matter and as someone else said, "this is one I will remember".
Kent's publishers were worried when he said he wanted to write this book; they worried for nothing. This is a "can't put down" book. It brought me back to my childhood in so many ways. The diversity of characters is excellently blended into each other's lives. As a writer Kent is one of the best. I would read anything he writes. Must read, a great book.