Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

11-year-old Reuben Land narrates the story of his family during a monumental moment in their lives.  His father, a janitor at the local high school, comes across two boys attacking a girl who happens to be his son, Davy's, girlfriend. The two boys seek revenge.  One night Davy commits an act of vandalism to the boys luring them to his home.  That night he waits and when they arrive he shoots them both dead.

Davy is immediately arrested.  During his trial, Reuben and their sister, Swede, plan to break him out of jail but they never get the chance for he has done it himself.  In one of the many miracles performed by their father, the Lands receive an Airstream and go out in search of the missing son and brother.  The crux of the story is the Lands on the journey to find Davy and keep the police away.

The events in the story take place because God has told Jeremiah Land, Reuben's father, what to do.  God works miracles throughout the story using Jeremiah.  The first miracle Reuben discovers is his father praying to God while walking along the bed of his truck.  He reaches the end and instead of falling, he walks on air.  It continues from there.  Reuben feels there is something special about his dad.

I'm going to be honest, I'm not really sure what to say here/how to review this book.  That's why I've procrastinated doing so.  It was a great read.  I did give it five stars. I think it's a fabulous story I recommend to anyone.

Reuben Land is a fine narrator.  He brings his own perspective to the events as well as adding in things his siblings have told afterwards, not too much it gets to be that he knows everything, but small pieces to give the feeling he really is telling us this story later in his life.

I love what Swede brings to the story: her epic poem about Sunny Sunshine.  Throughout the novel she is seen typing away at the typewriter she is given for her birthday creating more bits to the poem she allows Reuben to read and ultimately share with us the reader.  Their adventure helps create the plot for her poem and teaches her lessons about how to treat the characters.

I read this book for pure pleasure.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated for this review in any way.

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