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Peace Like a River    by Leif Enger order for
Peace Like a River
by Leif Enger
Order:  USA  Can
Grove, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Andrew Roe of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, 'Peace like a River serves as a reminder of why we read fiction to begin with', an apt comment on this very thoughtful and surprising work.

I found the book in my to read pile - it somehow kept getting pushed to the bottom. Decided to give it a quick perusal and hand it on. After reading it, this book stays in my permanent library - as it should in yours. Enger uses the same words as you or I, but he fits them together more precisely, like fingers nestling into a favorite glove ... '"Thanks so much," she said, and may we all be paid one day with looks such as she gave Dad.' We can all understand the words, but would we have expressed ourselves as eloquently?

Reuben Land is an eleven-year old asthmatic, living with his father, an older brother Davy and younger sister Swede. When Davy is arrested for murder and then escapes the hands of the law, the others can see only one thing to do - follow Davy to reunite the family. Peace like a River is the unusual story of the Lands' family quest and of the unusual man who was their father.

The novel is written with grace and compassion, neither citing right nor wrong, simply telling of the family's search for the missing part of their whole. Their love for each other is beyond words. Their actions speak of their closeness and dependence on each other. The compelling force that keeps the reader glued to the pages is the father's faith. Believe it or not, but you will come away from Peace like a River in a pocket of well being.

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