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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Peace Like a River

by

Peace Like a River Cover

ISBN13: 9780802139252
ISBN10: 0802139256
All Product Details

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Awards

2002 L.A. Times Book of the Year

Staff Pick

"A lean and lovingly told story, drawn from Midwestern life, sparked with moments of the miraculous."
Recommended by Mark, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Peace Like a River is a beautiful, uplifting tale told from the perspective of a boy growing up in the Midwest. Sweet, harsh, moving, and true, it includes faith, family, and miracles all wrapped up in adventure.
Recommended by Linda, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Leif Enger's debut novel is a case study in intangibles. Each year, dozens of novels are published that have all their ducks in a row: in richly imagined worlds, their well-drawn characters struggle through compelling conflicts toward revealing conclusions. But very few contain that imperceptible extra that allows a story to speak directly to the reader's own longings, to infiltrate their consciousness and alter their perception of the world. In telling the story of his saintly father, fugitive brother, and precocious sister, Enger's narrator, an eleven-year-old asthmatic named Reuben Land, reveals a world in which the tragic is tempered by the miraculous, and faith leads inexorably to sacrifice — and redemption. When it was first published in 2001, Peace Like a River was immediately championed by readers across the country and became a surprise bestseller. In 2002, it was chosen by independent booksellers as the Book Sense Book of the Year, and remains, today, one of the most popular book club selections in the country. Martin, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"You don't see novels like this one very often. Peace Like a River reminds a reader of Kent Haruf's Plainsong or even Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It. It's got that pure American loss of innocence theme, that belief in and fascination with miracles, that insistence on the goodness of men outside of the law." Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"[W]hat allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagacious humanity. Within the context of an adventure-filled tall tale, oddly enough, the book stretches out to gently explore the ancient mysteries of family. Independence and possession, loyalty and treachery, love and loathing — they're all here, even if it's not always clear which is which....There is magic here, none more potent than Leif Enger's prose." Dan Cryer, Newsday

Review:

"Enger has written one of the year's best novels....Once in a great while, a book comes along that has such wonderful characters and marvelous prose that you read it as much for the pure joy it offers on virtually every page as to find out how it ends....You'll be sorry if you miss it....Go out and get a copy; savor it. This one is special." Tom Walker, The Denver Post

Review:

"It's dangerous work, writing about faith....To get it right as Leif Enger does in his novel is nothing short of miraculous....What could be unbelievable becomes extraordinary in Enger's hands....If words can bolster lapsed faith, if a story can sturdy a shaky foundation, then the flow of Enger's amazing new novel may bring more than a few of us to his promised peace." Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

Review:

"If ever there was a time for a novel of faith and redemption — a quiet book of old-fashioned verities — this is it. Written in lyrical, openhearted prose, Peace Like a River even has a comforting, remarkable glimpse into the afterlife." Michael Giltz, New York Post

Review:

"It's the impassioned honesty of his quiet, measured narrative voice that gives weight and truth to the fantastic elements of this engrossing tale....This is a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt in a North Dakota winter, a novel about faith, miracles and family that is, ultimately, miraculous." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"What readers will appreciate first in Enger's marvelous novel is the language. His limpid sentences are composed with the clarity and richness for which poets strive....Enger's profound understanding of human nature stands behind his compelling prose." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"Once you begin Leif Enger's Peace Like A River, you are carried away by the elemental surge of its story, the sheer eagerness to see what happens to the engrossing characters who exist far from the intrusions of the media in the timeless arena of family love and anguish over a lost member. It is Enger's gift that he has made their extraordinary world credible." Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall and Dalva

Review:

"I'm urging this book on you because it is written in prose tart and crisp as a Minnesota Autumn. Peace Like a River is seductive and chatty and deliciously American and there are passages so wondrous and wise you'll want to claw yourself with pleasure." Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis

About the Author

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and has worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio since 1984. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 16 comments:

Andria, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Andria)
A story of family, spirituality and the Badlands. Peace Like a River opens with miracles and murder and ends with same. The Land family is full of characters, each of them uniquely endearing, none more so than 9 year-old Swede. Enger's prose is spare and heart-breaking, like the landscape he writes of. One of those books that you repeatedly recommend, because the next best thing to reading it yourself is having others discover it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
pdxmb, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by pdxmb)
Beautifully written prose tells a wonderful story.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
colleenmiller, January 26, 2010 (view all comments by colleenmiller)
Beautiful writing, best description of heaven I have ever read. Hopeful.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 16 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802139252
Author:
Enger, Leif
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Minnesota
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
Outlaws
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Motherless families
Subject:
FICTION / Family Saga
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
180
Publication Date:
20020831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in 10.50 oz
Age Level:
from 12

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Peace Like a River Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780802139252 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"A lean and lovingly told story, drawn from Midwestern life, sparked with moments of the miraculous."

"Staff Pick" by ,

Peace Like a River is a beautiful, uplifting tale told from the perspective of a boy growing up in the Midwest. Sweet, harsh, moving, and true, it includes faith, family, and miracles all wrapped up in adventure.

"Review" by , "You don't see novels like this one very often. Peace Like a River reminds a reader of Kent Haruf's Plainsong or even Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It. It's got that pure American loss of innocence theme, that belief in and fascination with miracles, that insistence on the goodness of men outside of the law."
"Review" by , "[W]hat allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagacious humanity. Within the context of an adventure-filled tall tale, oddly enough, the book stretches out to gently explore the ancient mysteries of family. Independence and possession, loyalty and treachery, love and loathing — they're all here, even if it's not always clear which is which....There is magic here, none more potent than Leif Enger's prose."
"Review" by , "Enger has written one of the year's best novels....Once in a great while, a book comes along that has such wonderful characters and marvelous prose that you read it as much for the pure joy it offers on virtually every page as to find out how it ends....You'll be sorry if you miss it....Go out and get a copy; savor it. This one is special."
"Review" by , "It's dangerous work, writing about faith....To get it right as Leif Enger does in his novel is nothing short of miraculous....What could be unbelievable becomes extraordinary in Enger's hands....If words can bolster lapsed faith, if a story can sturdy a shaky foundation, then the flow of Enger's amazing new novel may bring more than a few of us to his promised peace."
"Review" by , "If ever there was a time for a novel of faith and redemption — a quiet book of old-fashioned verities — this is it. Written in lyrical, openhearted prose, Peace Like a River even has a comforting, remarkable glimpse into the afterlife."
"Review" by , "It's the impassioned honesty of his quiet, measured narrative voice that gives weight and truth to the fantastic elements of this engrossing tale....This is a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt in a North Dakota winter, a novel about faith, miracles and family that is, ultimately, miraculous."
"Review" by , "What readers will appreciate first in Enger's marvelous novel is the language. His limpid sentences are composed with the clarity and richness for which poets strive....Enger's profound understanding of human nature stands behind his compelling prose."
"Review" by , "Once you begin Leif Enger's Peace Like A River, you are carried away by the elemental surge of its story, the sheer eagerness to see what happens to the engrossing characters who exist far from the intrusions of the media in the timeless arena of family love and anguish over a lost member. It is Enger's gift that he has made their extraordinary world credible."
"Review" by , "I'm urging this book on you because it is written in prose tart and crisp as a Minnesota Autumn. Peace Like a River is seductive and chatty and deliciously American and there are passages so wondrous and wise you'll want to claw yourself with pleasure."
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