Review: Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

I bought this book a long time ago because one of my favourite authors, Nicholas Evans, wrote that it was “Heart-achingly beautiful”.  peaceWithout doubt it is exactly that.

Here is the blurb from GoodReads:

“When Israel Finch and Tommy Basca, the town bullies, break into the home of school caretaker Jeremiah Land, wielding a baseball bat and looking for trouble, they find more of it than even they expected. For seventeen-year-old Davey is sitting up in bed waiting for them with a Winchester rifle. His younger brother Reuben has seen their father perform miracles, but Jeremiah now seems as powerless to prevent Davey from being arrested for manslaughter, as he has always been to ease Reuben’s daily spungy struggle to breathe. Nor does brave and brilliant nine-year-old Swede, obsessed as she is with the legends of the wild west, have the strength to spring Davey from jail. Yet Davey does manage to break out. He steals a horse, and disappears. His family feels his absence so sorely, the three of them just pile into their old Plymouth, towing a brand new 1963 Airstream trailer, and set out on a quest to find him. And they follow the outlaw west, right into the cold, wild and empty Dakota Badlands. Set in the 1960s on the edge of the Great Plains, PEACE LIKE A RIVER is that rare thing, a contemporary novel with an epic dimension. Told in the touching voice of an asthmatic eleven-year-old boy, it revels in the legends of the West, resonates with a soul-expanding sense of place, and vibrates with the possibility of magic in the everyday world. Above all, it shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.”

This story is about people, about character, faith, family and above all – love.  Enger’s writing is stunning.  I felt I knew these people as if they were my family and they are perfect people in that they are anything but perfect.  Enger shows such insight into the human heart and mind that the book can be nothing but heart-achingly beautiful.  The settings of the story were as alive as the people.  I really enjoyed this book especially after the non fiction books I finished before reading this.  Great story, wonderful characters, breathing landscapes, and writing to melt your heart.  I recommend this book and hope you enjoy it as I did.


lilolia review rating 5 stars excellent



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