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Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
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Peace Like a River (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Leif Enger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1891181,195 (4.03)185
Member:countrylife
Title:Peace Like a River
Authors:Leif Enger
Info:Atlantic Monthly Press (2002), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Wishlist
Rating:*****
Tags:((( FICTION ))), T.20 th century, T.1960s, P.US states - North Dakota, P.US states - Minnesota, | loved it, | FAVORITE!, from:library-bell, Read 2009, reviewed, {cover-member, 4-A list, Read, challenge: 50states-favorite read, challenge: 50states-best setting, . general fiction

Work details

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Author) (2001)

  1. 90
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (wisewoman)
    wisewoman: These books share a precocious narrator, vital family relationships, and themes that are funny and sad and thought provoking all at the same time. Extremely well written and engaging.
  2. 60
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (jhedlund)
  3. 10
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  4. 00
    The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (chndlrs)
  5. 00
    Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (bjappleg8)
    bjappleg8: Similar story of a father's faith through family trials and tribulations as seen through a young boy's eyes.
  6. 02
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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» See also 185 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
Peace Like a River is a stunning debut. Gentle and meditative with great characters. The story is told by 11 year old Reuben who doesn't realize his own goodness in a family of remarkable individuals (in the case of his little sister, however , her precocity is a little unbelievable - she should have been an older sister.) ( )
  CindaMac | Mar 26, 2017 |
I just finished this and I'm still pondering. I'm not sure "Peace like a river" was ever found, but I did enjoy the journey. Very descriptive of character and place. Told by a young boy. I can see why it gained popularity. My father-in-law recommended this. I'm sorry he is no longer around to have a conversation. ( )
  njcur | Mar 21, 2017 |
Somewhat depressing story set in the 60's in poverty situation with a family of a father, 11 year old son, and younger daughter and 17 year old boy who kills 2 boys who enter their home with intent to harm. Good characters and somewhat accurate portrayal of people of these depressed small towns in that era. ( )
  ZachMontana | Mar 11, 2017 |
I couldn't put it down and hated for.it.to.end. I love the character devopment. I pictured Scout from the movie To kill a Mockingbird as the daughter Swede. I loved the idea that miracles can happen and Ruben was the benefactor. Asthma is difficult to live with and I felt a lot of compassion for this boy. This book has a lot of twists and turns making it a very compelling read. ( )
  maryeisele | Mar 4, 2017 |
The voice and tone of this book are perfect. The story kept me engaged more than most do. The book apparently has wide appeal already. I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes a darn good read, nevermind all the frills and loftiness. It's well written. I won't tell the story again because you can read about that in any of the reviews online. This is a wonderful story and I'm looking forward to more, if the writer chooses to make more books. Something about this story is so appealing, I've put it on my favorites list.

Thanks to Ed for the addendum recommendation! ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Robin
The country ahead is as wild a spread
As ever we're likely to see

The horses are dancing to start the advance--
Won't you ride on with me?
First words
From my first breath in this world, all I wanted was a good set of lungs and the air to fill them with - given circumstances, you might presume, for an American baby of the twentieth century.
Quotations
So thoughtlessly we sling on our destinies.
Thinking of supper, I asked, “You want us to do anything, Dad?”
“Persevere,” he said.
I’m sorry if you thought better of me, but the fact is I spent whole hours imagining alarming humiliations for those kids - big dumb kids, always with effortless all-star lungs. … It’s true. No grudge ever had a better nurse.
I couldn’t put words to it, but Swede, as usual, could.
This still happens with Swede and me. I’ll lack a word, and she’ll dump out a bushel of them.
“My sympathies,” Dad said. “Appreciated but gratuitous,” the woman replied – and Swede would have loved her forever for that phrase alone –
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802139256, Paperback)

To the list of great American child narrators that includes Huck Finn and Scout Finch, let us now add Reuben "Rube" Land, the asthmatic 11-year-old boy at the center of Leif Enger's remarkable first novel, Peace Like a River. Rube recalls the events of his childhood, in small-town Minnesota circa 1962, in a voice that perfectly captures the poetic, verbal stoicism of the northern Great Plains. "Here's what I saw," Rube warns his readers. "Here's how it went. Make of it what you will." And Rube sees plenty.

In the winter of his 11th year, two schoolyard bullies break into the Lands' house, and Rube's big brother Davy guns them down with a Winchester. Shortly after his arrest, Davy breaks out of jail and goes on the lam. Swede is Rube's younger sister, a precocious writer who crafts rhymed epics of romantic Western outlawry. Shortly after Davy's escape, Rube, Swede, and their father, a widowed school custodian, hit the road too, swerving this way and that across Minnesota and North Dakota, determined to find their lost outlaw Davy. In the end it's not Rube who haunts the reader's imagination, it's his father, torn between love for his outlaw son and the duty to do the right, honest thing. Enger finds something quietly heroic in the bred-in-the-bone Minnesota decency of America's heartland. Peace Like a River opens up a new chapter in Midwestern literature. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:46 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old asthmatic Reuben Land chronicles the Land family's odyssey in search of Reuben's older brother, Davy, who has escaped from jail before he can stand trial for the killing of two marauders who came to their Minnesota farm to harm the family. A first novel. Reprint.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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