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The River We Remember

de William Kent Krueger

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5762941,489 (4.37)18
Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the "expansive, atmospheric American saga" (Entertainment Weekly) This Tender Land.
On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn's murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn's death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life from an author of novels "as big-hearted as they come" (Parade), The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The River We Remember, William Kent Krueger, author; CJ Wilson, narrator
When the novel begins, a body is discovered that has seemingly been eaten by catfish, after falling into the Alabaster River. This river is a sight to behold at certain times when it magically turns a brilliant white in the moonlight. As the victim’s death is analyzed, the cause is not what it at first appears to be. So, why does the sheriff clean the scene of the crime of any evidence to indicate who killed the man or why he was killed?
As the story proceeds, the reader is introduced to many characters, some that do not fit the mold of some of the townspeople. There is a Japanese woman resented because of her country’s part in the past war. There is the Native American, Noah Bluestone. who married Kyoko. He is maligned unfairly as a lawless man. There are veterans of different wars who are suffering from PTSD, there are widows of the war’s victims. There are young teenage boys influenced by their own lives and issues which make them stand apart. There are poignant legends of the Native American. There are men and women with monstrous secrets in their past history of abuse, neglect, brothels and murder. There are men who are amoral and there are drunks. There is Charlie, a compassionate, female lawyer at a time when there were few in the profession. There is the abuse of the weaker sex and the young. Who are vulnerable. Then, there is the richest man in town, whose body had just been discovered, brutally mutilated by the fish. His poor reputation, as that of an arrogant man and cruel taskmaster, preceded his still unexpected demise. Though it was thought that many harbored animosities toward him, because of his behavior toward them, one suspect stood out among the rest, because of a stereotypical and hypocritical mindset, prejudice, jealousy and perhaps greed.
This is not a town used to violence, so Jimmy Quinn’s death, though it may not be mourned as it would have been if he had been a kind man, it is still viewed with fear and doubt. Who would have done such a thing? Even if there were many people with motives, not many were capable of murder.
The book has drama, romance, mystery, humanity, compassion, and evil. It is also a coming-of-age novel for certain characters and it is a distinct illustration of morality and the lack of it, courage and cowardice. It is a picture of human frailty and human strength at their best and worst.
It is an examination of the horrors of war, the quest for survival at all costs, the flaws of society, the damaged human beings that need help, the bullies and the saints. Is everyone a bit of both?
The sheriff, Brody Dern, who seems like an honorable man has secrets. The woman, Angie, who runs the Wagon Wheel Café has secrets. The sister-in-law of the sheriff, Garnet, has secrets. The dead man has many secrets. Many of the townspeople suffer from nightmares because of their pasts.
As the secrets and characters are revealed, the story evolves seamlessly, even with its twists and turns. The very nature of humanity is explored, and the very flawed nature of humanity is revealed, along with its goodness. The tragedy of war is exposed. Not only the river remembers its history, each of the characters carries the burden of theirs and must deal with it.
The novel plays out in Jewel, in Black Earth County, Minnesota, with ordinary people who have the ordinary problems of life and then some. Their memories haunt them. Their dreams sometimes become nightmares. Like the Alabaster River that appears white only at certain times, they often appear differently at different times. However, the true character of people will come out, eventually. Nothing can remain hidden forever. What shapes us, our history, will eventually be revealed. We all experience both the harm and benefits of our past, but we all stay true to ourselves, in the end. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Apr 12, 2024 |
Very enjoyable read about small town life in Minnesota in 1958. ( )
  Suem330 | Mar 4, 2024 |
In “The River We Remember,” the fine 2023 novel by William Kent Krueger, it is not just the river that characters remember. Most of them have torn pasts they would like to forget. In many cases, that past involves their World War II experiences.

One of the characters is Sheriff Brody Dean, a war hero who doesn't feel like a hero. The year is 1958, and Brody is called to the bank of the Alabaster River, where the body of Jimmy Quinn, one of the most prominent, and least loved citizens of Jewel, Minn., has been found.

Brody would like to believe the shotgun death was either an accident or a suicide. If it was murder, he figures Jimmy Quinn probably deserved it. He wipes all prints off the shotgun to protect whoever might have done it.

Yet as much as everyone, including members of his own family, hated Quinn, there is someone they hate even more. That is Noah Bluestone, another war hero. But he is also a Dakota Sioux, and he married a Japanese woman. Soon evidence forces Brody to arrest Noah, against his own will.

There's much more going on in this novel. Brody carries on a long-term affair with his brother's wife, then falls for Angie, a former prostitute who runs a local diner in her new life. Unwise behavior by Angie's teenage son and his friend put them dangerously in the middle of this murder case. Both Noah and his wife refuse to talk about what really happened on the night Jimmy Quinn was killed.

This is a wonderfully written murder mystery that reads like a literary novel. Don't miss it. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Feb 28, 2024 |
(2023) This book is a stand alone novel by Krueger that I found much better than the few I have read of his Cork O'Connor series. Set along the Alabaster River in Minnesota, a small town is torn apart by the death of the town bully and the many lives he has affected in 1958. World War II and WW I have also affected the town with prejudice and malice. Kirkus: Memorial Day (or Decoration Day, as it was still called in 1958) takes on new meaning for the residents of Jewel, Minnesota, when its wealthiest?and least-liked?citizen is murdered and a war veteran is suspected of the crime.

The brutish victim, Jimmy Quinn, is found floating in the Alabaster River, shotgunned and chewed up by catfish. Suspicion immediately falls on Noah Bluestone, a veteran who is doubly persecuted for being a Dakota Sioux and married to Kyoko, a Japanese survivor of Nagasaki. The sheriff, Brody Dern, a highly decorated and traumatized war veteran who spent time in a Japanese prison camp, thinks about letting whomever killed Quinn, destroyer of people?s lives, go free. Brody is having a dreamy affair with his brother?s wife while entering into a romance with the proprietor of the local cafe, a war widow with a tainted past and a teenage son with a damaged heart. Also playing a recurring role is the riverside, where a woman?s weeping voice can be heard. In the aptly named Black Earth County, stuffed as it is with current and past incidents of sexual abuse, suicides, racial discrimination, fatal diseases, and ?complications of the heart,? there is a lot to weep about. The latest stand-alone novel by the author of the acclaimed This Tender Land (2019) and the Cork O?Connor mysteries has so many people and subplots to keep track of it can?t help losing sight of some of them, including one significant character. Fans of the die-hard Minnesotan author will appreciate his evocation of the landscape and people?s connections to it. But in piercing the notion of an innocent small-town America in the 1950s, he goes way overboard.

A grim portrait of lost souls.
Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781982179212

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Atria
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
So again WKK is an exceptional writer in my opinion and I've read a couple of his other books for book clubs. This also was a well written book, but it just had me stuck midway through, is seemed to drag on. The ending took me by surprise so it was worth sticking with it! ( )
  mchwest | Dec 20, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Fans of the die-hard Minnesotan author will appreciate his evocation of the landscape and people's connection with it. But in piercing the notion of an innocent small-town America in the 1950s, he goes way overboard. A grim portrait of lost souls.
adicionado por Lemeritus | editarKirkus Reviews (Jul 1, 2023)
 
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The Alabaster River cuts diagonally across Black Earth County, Minnesota, a crooked course like a long crack in a china plate. -Prologue
In 1958, Memorial Day fell on a Friday. This was long before the federal government made the celebration officially the final Monday of May. -Chapter 1
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Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the "expansive, atmospheric American saga" (Entertainment Weekly) This Tender Land.
On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn's murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn's death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life from an author of novels "as big-hearted as they come" (Parade), The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.

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