Thank you for all things

December book club selection

Sandra Kring lives in the north woods of Wisconsin. She runs support groups and workshops for adult survivors of trauma. Her debut novel, Carry Me Home, was a Book Sense Notable pick and a 2005 Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award nominee. 'Thank you for all things' is the third novel written by Kring.

This novel is written from the daughter's eyes, a young girl trying to learn more about her family. Lucy finds the perfect place to discover her roots when she meets her dying grandfather, finds her mother's childhood journals and meets people around town that knew her family years ago. How will her families life change now that they are finally free to move forward?

I enjoyed reading this novel, the characters develop nicely throughout the story and you feel like you are listening to a friend share their family history. I encourage everyone to read the questions after reading (even if you are not reading this for book club), reading the questions bring the book together and give it purpose.

Type: Fiction, 432 pages, Trade paperback
Reading Guide: Yes
Recommend for book club: Yes


Synopsis:
At twelve, Lucy Marie McGowan already knows she’ll be a psychologist when she grows up. And her quirky and conflicted family provides plenty of opportunity for her to practice her calling. Now Lucy, her “profoundly gifted” twin brother, Milo, her commitment-phobic mother, and her New Age grandmother are leaving Chicago for Timber Falls, Wisconsin, to care for her dying grandfather—a complex and difficult man whose failure as a husband and father still painfully echoes down through the years.Lucy believes her time in the rural town where the McGowan story began will provide a key piece to the puzzle of her family’s broken past, and perhaps even reveal the truth about her own missing father. But what she discovers is so much more—a lesson about the paradoxes of love and the grace of forgiveness that the adults around her will need help in remembering if their family is ever to find peace and embrace the future. By turns heart-wrenching and heart-mending, Thank You for All Things is a powerful and poignant novel by a brilliant storyteller who illustrates that when it comes to matters of family and love, often it is the innocent who force others to confront their darkest secrets.

Reviews:
"Heartfelt.... Strong characters, a clear community portrait and a memorable protagonist whose poignant fumblings cloak an innocent wisdom demonstrate Kring’s promise." -Publishers Weekly
“A touching novel… Kring explores the far-ranging effects of family trauma with a deft hand as her child narrator uncovers the past, bringing light and hope." —Booklist

"…Kring’s brilliance lies in her powerful reversals and revelations, taking readers and characters on a dramatic, emotional roller coaster."-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

3 comments

  1. A terrific examination of family dynamics (albeit a dysfunctional family). The initial setup seemed a little contrived to me and without making the narrator a gifted child the story might not have worked. But you'll enjoy the getting to know the characters and watching them as they grow and change through the story.

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  2. An interesting take on the nature of perspective. Each member of the family sees the other person through a different set of experiences.

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  3. There were a lot of little details that reminded ume of someone - a sister, a friend, or even self.
    All of the characters were sympathetic, at least by the end, and I never had any trouble appreciating Tess.

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