Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

74%

8 Critic Reviews

Minnesotan Enger pulls out the stops in this readable albeit religiously correct debut about a family with a father who may be touched by God and a son by the Devil...Handsomely written, rich with the feel and flavor of the plains—and suited mainly for those whose yearnings are in the down-home, just-folks style of the godly.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Hailed as one of the year's top five novels by Time, and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers, national bestseller Peace Like a River captured the hearts of a nation in need of comfort. "A rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and healing," Peace Like a River is "a collage of legends from sources sacred and profane -- from the Old Testament to the Old West, from the Gospels to police dramas" (Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor). In "lyrical, openhearted prose" (Michael Glitz, The New York Post), Enger tells the story of eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates. Leif Enger's "miraculous" (Valerie Ryan, The Seattle Times) novel is a "perfect book for an anxious time ... of great literary merit that nonetheless restores readers' faith in the kindness of stories" (Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press).
 

About Leif Enger

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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.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 324 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Peace Like a River
All: 8 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2010

Minnesotan Enger pulls out the stops in this readable albeit religiously correct debut about a family with a father who may be touched by God and a son by the Devil...Handsomely written, rich with the feel and flavor of the plains—and suited mainly for those whose yearnings are in the down-home, just-folks style of the godly.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 06 2016

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.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by KATHERINE DIECKMANN on Sep 09 2001

It's tough to give magic realism an all-American spin, since God always seems to get mixed up in the equation, transforming fragrant lyricism into something that, to all but true believers, seems implausible: the perfectly timed miracle. Such convenient mysticism crops up frequently in Leif Enger's unabashed throwback of a first novel.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Rob Cline on Jan 22 2011

Reuben, now an adult, looks back on his 11th year, telling his story self-consciously, self-deprecatingly and with a sense of wonder appropriate to this story in which the miraculous and the mundane are woven together seamlessly...Enger has crafted a moving story and placed it in the mouth of a refreshingly open and candid narrator.

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Teen Reads

Good
Reviewed by Rob Cline on Jan 22 2011

Reuben's engaging voice keeps this story moving as he portrays people and events in a vivid, talky manner...Enger has crafted a moving story and placed it in the mouth of a refreshingly open and candid narrator. The story of Reuben Land's extraordinary family is not to be missed.

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BlogHer

Good
Reviewed by Emily B on Mar 30 2011

The book came out in 2001 and promptly garnered a bevy of accolades and "best-seller" labels. It's easy to see why. This story is nothing if not eminently readable.

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Reading for Sanity

Below average
Reviewed by Heather on May 22 2009

I would have to say the main difficulty for me with this novel was the writing style. It reminded me a bit of Ian McEwan's Atonement, in that it was extremely detailed...I really wanted to love this story, as it seems many others did but I couldn't bring myself to. I close the cover on this book feeling like I missed something.

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January Magazine

Good
Reviewed by David Abrams on Dec 01 2001

Peace Like a River is a book worthy of the loudest trumpet fanfare and showers of confetti available. Put this one right to the head of the class...The real strength of Enger's book lies in the voice of our young asthmatic guide. Reuben Land is one of the most engaging narrators -- young or old -- to take control of a book's pages in a long time.

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Reader Rating for Peace Like a River
85%

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