Peace Like A River

Peace Like A River

Book - 2001
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Leif Enger's rhapsodic novel about a father raising his three children in 1960s Minnesota is a breathtaking celebration of family, faith, and America's pioneering spirit. Through the voice of eleven-year-old Reuben, an asthmatic boy obsessed with cowboy stories, Peace Like a River tells of the Land family's cross-country search for Reuben's outlaw older brother, who has been controversially charged with murder. Sprinkled with playful and warmhearted nods to biblical tales, classic American novels such as Huckleberry Finn, the adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Westerns of Zane Grey, Peace Like a River brilliantly incorporates the best elements of all these genres and ultimately earns its own prominent and enduring place on the shelf among them. Reuben Land was born with no air in his lungs, and it was only when his father, Jeremiah, picked him up and commanded him to breathe that his lungs filled. Reuben struggles with debilitating asthma thenceforth, but he is a boy who knows firsthand that life is a gift, and also one who suspects that his father can overturn the laws of nature. When Reuben's older brother, Davy, kills two marauders who have come to harm the family, the town is divided between those who see him as a hero and those who see him as a cold-blooded murderer. On the morning of the trial, Davy escapes from his cell, and when his family finds out they decide to go forth into the unknown in search of him. With Jeremiah -- whose faith is the stuff of legend -- at the helm, the family covers territory far more glorious than even the Badlands, where they search for Davy from their Airstream trailer. By the time the journey is over, they will have traversed boundaries of a different nature entirely. Marked by a soul-expanding sense of place and a love of storytelling, Peace Like a River is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, a romance, and a heartfelt meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2001.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780871137951
087113795X
Branch Call Number: FIC/Enger 3588mb 1
FIC/Enger 3588a4 1
Characteristics: 313 p.

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path111 Jun 20, 2014

I was struck by the ad on the cover of this book: “Peace like a River serves as a reminder of why we read fiction to begin with.”

The story is told by an 11 year old who suffers from asthma and who has reason to believe in miracles. He, his sister, and his dad find themselves on a cross country journey to find his older brother.

The author has one of the best turn of phrases I have ever read. I stopped many times just to enjoy how he put a thought to words. Hope you like it too.

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