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Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Peace Like a River (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Leif Enger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2471211,168 (4.03)186
Title:Peace Like a River
Authors:Leif Enger
Info:Atlantic Monthly Press (2002), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Wishlist
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
    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.
  4. 10
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  5. 00
    The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (chndlrs)
  6. 02
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 186 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
This book was highly recommended by a friend, but it was a bit too spiritual for me. I did read it in one day, however, and the story was good if you don't mind the religious stuff. This is for a faith-based person or reader --- and that isn't me! ( )
  DBrigandi | Jul 3, 2017 |
This book was highly recommended by a friend, but it was a bit too spiritual for me. I did read it in one day, however, and the story was good if you don't mind the religious stuff. This is for a faith-based person or reader --- and that isn't me! ( )
  DBrigandi | Jul 3, 2017 |
This book was simply wonderful. The writing was just beautiful, and the characters engaging. One of the better books I read in 2005. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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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.
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)

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