Reviews - What do customers think about Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids?
A trip through the ages along the Grand River Nov 15, 2007
I am a Grand Rapids native and a lifelong student of history. Gordon Olson is a well-respected city historian and I thought he and his co-editors have done a marvelous job assembling a thorough and well-balanced perspective of growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It's sometimes awkward for a native to read less than glowing reviews from the perspective of certain groups or individuals. Clearly the fairly homogenous ethnic make up of the city (in fact much of the West Michigan area) makes it easier to overlook the challenges that minorities have felt through the years, and I certainly appreciated the pain expressed by a few of the contributors.
Still, Grand Rapids is a terrific place to grow up. It's large enough to offer plenty of opportunity, and yet small enough to feel like home. It's thought-provoking to get a sense for some of GR's unique character and cultural fabric already being reflected in its citizens more than 150 years ago.
The hard-working, thrifty, community-oriented stock best represented by the city's favorite son, former President Gerald R. Ford, comes through loud and clear. Thanks are owed to the research team that vetted the work that went into this must read for anyone who wants to truly understand what makes Grand Rapids what it is today.
Great stories-Great writing Jul 26, 2007
I live in the Grand Rapids area, plus I am a high school English teacher, so my natural interest spurred the purchase of this book. At first, when I started reading, I chose stories by authors whose names I recognized. Then I realized that the stories were presented in chronological order, so I started from the beginning. No matter what order is chosen, every story is wonderful. They are all very different in style and feeling, but a sense of place shines through, as well as a sophistication that belies Grand Rapids' humble demeanor. These stories are universal, engaging and fun. I have read hundreds of short stories, and this collection truly stands out.