Peace Like a River
by Leif Enger
Paperback- $12.28

One of Time Magazine's Top Five Books of the Year.
A Christian Science Montor,Denver Post, and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.

"Once ...

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Member ratings

 
  "I enjoyed the book" by brbwire (see profile) 11/19/06

The writing was good and I liked the characters, although as Rachel says it is hard to believe a young girl can write poetry and use those big words...sorry I missed the meeting...barb.

 
  "Very well-written book that generated excellent discussion" by jane4ann4 (see profile) 11/19/06

This book was very well written and a total pleasure to read. Although I am not a person of faith, I had no trouble appreciating this story and the conflicts this family faced. The characters and relationships were beautifully developed and delightful. I wholeheartedly would recommend this book.

 
  "Very good book with many themes for discussion" by RSanborn (see profile) 11/20/06

This book was very well written. I particularly enjoyed the poem written by the little girl, although it was hard to believe that, in real life, she would have been able to compose this poem, given the vocabulary used. I did have a problem with the emphasis on miracles throughout the book, but the characters were by and large believably written & the story was always interesting & not predictable.

 
  "A wonderful adventure encompassing themes of love, honor, good & evil , faith & family." by BobbieDodge (see profile) 11/21/06

I love this book. It is a charming saga told from the point of view of an 11-year-old boy in the early 1960s, altough it's feel is of an earlier era. I fell in love with all the characters.

 
  "Musical prose and a magical story." by marymack07 (see profile) 01/19/07

 
  "A heartbreaking story of a young boy's quest to save his family." by Hosozawa (see profile) 02/23/07

 
  "such a delightful story and wonderful characters" by kennamom (see profile) 03/07/07

 
  "Wonderful to read - made me stay up late to finish" by marialuby (see profile) 03/30/07

 
  "Well-written; moving; character development excellent" by ccombs (see profile) 07/04/07

 
  "Beautiful Book" by lbmuskov (see profile) 05/14/07

I absolutely loved this book! It's a beautiful story and great for discussion. I have recommended Peace Like a River to several friends. There is something truly magical about this book.

 
  "Absolutely beautiful writing" by pfairsd (see profile) 05/27/07

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It combines beautiful writing with a story and characters not to be forgotten.

 
  "Great story" by kellyarvidson (see profile) 07/06/07

I loved the characters. Reuben's father reminded me so much of my father-in-law, who passed away 6 years ago, I made my husband read this book (something he doesn't do often). He agreed and we laughed and cried with the sweet memories. Thank you Leif.

 
  "Started with great potential and quickly fizzled" by julialily (see profile) 01/09/08

Only 1/2 my bookclub actually finished it! It seemed like a winner in the very beginning but we all quickly realized that the story was really going nowhere. It did not capture our interest nor did it create a memorable discussion.

 
  "Alot to talk about with this book!" by Shannon (see profile) 01/14/08

 
  "Wonderful story" by htammelleo (see profile) 01/14/08

This book was an amazing read. Very quick and the character of Jeremiah Land is phenomenal. Not since Atticus Finch has there been such an imposing father figure...

 
  "Very Good Book with a Very Big Caveat..." by jaseifert (see profile) 03/29/08

If you are a non believer in the Almighty, this may not be the book for you. In order to enjoy this book, which is very good, you will need to suspend belief (or non belief in this case). This book is a great story and is well told by the author but is intertwined with miracles and explanations of how and why God may do the things he does or doesn't. It is not all about Him, it is more about the story of an 11 year old struggling in the 60's after a terrible tragedy occurred in his family. I am not a believer and was able to thoroughly enjoy the writing style, the poetry (Go Sunny Sundown), which is interspersed throughout the book, and the love and trust that is so apparent in this family. In our discussions about the book, it came up that this is a book of fiction and with any book of fiction you need to let go and absorb the story for what it is...An analogy? Many of us thoroughly enjoy a good ghost story (Stephen King, best selling author?) but we don't usually question the events or ghosts in those novels. These are enjoyed for the story not whether we belief or not in Ghosts.
With all that said you will thoroughly enjoy this story if you can suspend non-belief and read it for what it is; a story of love and commitment to family and the comfort that can be found within a family unit in the most difficult of times.
I recommend this book but you've been advised...So enjoy if you decide to take the challenge.

 
  "Enjoyed it" by pennyslager (see profile) 05/30/08

 
  "more to the story than just finding the brother on the run" by backinwyoming (see profile) 06/22/08

Leif Enger's prose is almost poetic; i can feel the cold, i can smell the air, i can see the people's faces. To skim over this book would be criminal: it is meant to be read slowly and thoughtfully, for each character has meaning and each event significant. It is not preachy- as he says, he just tells the story and lets you come to your own conclusions.

 
  "keeps getting better" by novelideas08 (see profile) 09/26/08

will add more when i finish....

 
  "excellent read" by mcdotreader (see profile) 09/26/08

 
  "Wow- an amazing book- stays with you long after you have finished" by millede (see profile) 10/21/08

The tile is aptly chosen for there is a wonderful sense of peace that permeates this book. Wonderfully drawn characters, well written with descriptions you can see in your mind. It willl be a keeper for me and I am likely to reread it.

 
  "Both heartbreaking and redemptive, the author tells a family's story." by Jacquemott (see profile) 11/10/08

For some reason, this book haunts my dreams in a powerful way.

 
  "Beautiful story of faith...and how love can save you..." by AnnMills (see profile) 11/12/08

Our book club loved Peace Like a River...it gave us lots of discussion..an excellent choice for our club.

 
  "a magnificent lesson on forgiveness," by nlkeyser (see profile) 11/14/08

The characters are so REAL, you want to know them personally. The compassion and forgiveness of the father in his daily life is wonderful. Perhaps we should all be like that, but could we?

 
  "What an awesome wonderful tale of redemption!" by hartleystudio (see profile) 11/18/08

This is, now, one of my all time favorite books! The writing is so descriptive and vivid I felt like I was right there. I wheezed right along with Rubin and wrapped myself in a blanket to stave off the cold during the blizzard. This is an excellent book with lots of potential for discussion. Jeremiah Land is a compelling father figure, on par with Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and the storytelling is similar. Do yourself a favor and read this book, it's excellent!

 
  "A really great read" by iamom05 (see profile) 11/18/08

It took a long time to get into this book. I wasn't sure I liked it even until the end, but it had such a great ending I am so glad I read all of it! There was plenty of room for discussion on a variety of subjects. I really liked this book. I like it more as I remember it than I did while reading it. One to read again!

 
  "Beautifully written and thought-provoking" by Khains (see profile) 11/19/08

This book deserves the acclaim it has received. The descriptive writing is fantastic. The characters are well-developed. It has plenty of material for discussion. I liked it a lot. It was uplifting without being syrupy.

 
  "This is one of my favorite novels EVER!" by chrissie60ca (see profile) 11/20/08

Leif Enger writes a remarkable story. Laugh out loud funny in places and deeply touching in others. Superb writing.

 
  "Very thought provoking book about family, loyalty, miracles and more." by nikol777 (see profile) 11/20/08

I enjoyed the book. It wasn't a quick page turner and didn't keep me up at night but I found the writing to be beautiful and the imagery was great. There was a religious theme with the miracles and references to biblical stories and characters that might be a turn off for some.

 
  "Great book, very thought provoking." by megfarris (see profile) 12/10/08

 
  "Great book! Beautifully written w/ carefully-chosen, rich words!" by swarner87 (see profile) 12/13/08

 
  "Much too slow and was unable to finish!" by jmiller (see profile) 12/17/08

I really didn't like this book. I made it to page 154 and just had to give up. It was very, very, very slow. I felt like I read 20 pages and nothing happened. This is definitely a book that you will be able to put down!!

 
  "miracles take many forms and need a witness to recount them. Through the eyes of an asmatic 11 year old the miricle of faith is reflected in his 1960' s family but does not mean a trouble free life." by rlacourse (see profile) 12/17/08

Interesting descriptions of the setting (poor rural 60's) and a few good plot lines. However the flow of the book is somewhat slow than slam bang at the end. It would make good light reading but in my opinion does not lend itself to discussion of much depth. We enjoyed the young sister's input (western writings) inserted through out the story and how they paralleled events and reflect the battle with evil.

 
  "Not one of my favorites." by rootann (see profile) 12/28/08

 
  "Several issues surface in the reading: family issues, faith, loss of parent, legal issues, parental" by nmcchrystal (see profile) 01/20/09

The book,for me, moved slowly in the beginning. However, I did like the book very much. Many of our members expressed the opinion that it was one of the best books they had read.

 
  "Beautiful language, engaging characters, wonderous story - hated to see it end. Inspired our best book club meeting discussions." by juliepalooza (see profile) 01/22/09

 
  "moving lyrical story" by deborahb8383 (see profile) 01/22/09

Very sweet, flawed characters...compelling story...good narative...

 
  "Enjoyed the last few chapters when it came to a resolution." by wendym (see profile) 01/23/09

Found the first chapters tedious, especially regarding the goose hunt. I understood it was setting the storyline for Jerimiah's miracles, but did like the premise. The last chapters were very compelling and made the book an interesting read.

 
  "A good read suitable for all" by keelylaine (see profile) 02/24/09

 
  "A beautiful read" by jmsblest (see profile) 03/01/09

 
  "It's very well written and great for discussion" by Helenesp (see profile) 03/08/09

 
  "Excellent. Well written...could not put down. Great lessons." by pamjohn (see profile) 03/13/09

Our book club really enjoyed this book. Wonderful, unique story line.

 
  "Poetic. Loved the writing style." by shortstallings (see profile) 03/31/09

 
  "Powerful Spiritual Story of a Family" by lollygil (see profile) 04/02/09

The love between the family members connected them through hard times.

 
  "Beautiful writing that merits discussion" by seashine (see profile) 04/04/09

Really wonderful story that discusses deeper issues without sentimentality.

 
  "Disappointing with a several angles of discussion" by tgreen (see profile) 04/20/09

Ok, this book had a lot of things going on. Poetry, faith building, some drama. It was well written but requires a lot of analysis. In order to enhance your discussion, you must look for metaphors at the time you are reading this book. Use the discussion questions as a guide. I felt like I was back in high school with this book. Remember the days when you had to read the book and discuss it in class? Do you remember how the teacher always wanted you to pull out the "deeper meaning"? Well, this is that book.

It's disappointing in that we felt that the character development could have been better. There was no true heroine/hero. There were a lot of unexplained biblical references.

 
  "Caught Up In The Moment" by bookey (see profile) 04/20/09

I think overall this was a great book. The series of events at the start of the book keep the reader engaged. Reader beware -- if you're not familiar with some biblical terms, you may be put off or lost temporarily.

As one of my book club members noted, "Enger gets a little caught up in his own prose about half way through the book". The book lingers for a bit before it becomes captivating again.

Although I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, I will admit that the prose was great! I loved his description of objects like fog and the morning. It was great and helped expand my use of certain words.

Give it a try - you might like it.

 
  "a bit slow" by petsitter43 (see profile) 04/20/09

I felt the author wrote well but the story didn't flow.
I also felt the characters were not as interesting as they could've been.

 
  "Great read and great discussion" by clota60621 (see profile) 04/24/09

 
  "Peace Like a River by Leif Engle" by TJEigler (see profile) 05/01/09

Although one of our members loved the book, and a few thought it was O.K., several did not care for it at all. We like to read non-fiction as well and the "miracles" were a little too far fetched for us. We also thought that the protagonist and his younger sister (we're told they are 11 and 8 years old respectively) were unbelievably mature, able, and talented for their ages (the sister cooks and entire turkey dinner and write poetry with a vocabulary and wit that seems unlikely in a third grader). We also couldn't see what the message about the older brother was supposed to be. His character is central to the story's purpose but is never developed or resolved. The writing style was entertaining and engaging (like reminicing with a friend) but we weren't sure what the plot was supposed to be or what the author was trying to convey.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by swooten99 (see profile) 05/07/09

I had a difficult time at the start of the book, but once I was really into Peace Like a River, I enjoyed the book extremely.
All the ladies in my book club loved the book and to some it was one of the best we have read so far in shady ladies.

 
  "Fabulous Story of Families and Love" by monie (see profile) 05/29/09

This is a wonderful story where the line between good and evil is blurred by love and loyalty. The characters are original and memorable and many scenes will stay with you forever. I loved this novel!

 
  "Inspiring Read" by f8thfulstar (see profile) 07/02/09

Great book. INsightful and poetic. takes you on a journey that makes you really think about your own views and faith

 
  "a good read and a great discussion" by jszaja (see profile) 09/09/09

 
  "Have no idea what all the hype is about?!!" by stemfamily (see profile) 09/13/09

First, I can't believe this book has gotten so many good reviews?!!! It was boring. It was uninteresting. I would have stopped reading somewhere in the beginning if it wasn't for part of a book club I am in. The ending ruined the whole thing for me. It just seemed to have NO emotion at all in it. When things happened, without giving anything away, people should have been devastated, hurt, crying, mad, vengeful. There was none of that. It was emotionless. It left me feeling empty and not finished. The ending was so abrupt. I would say it left me wanting more, but the only "more" I want now, is a totally different book!!

 
  "Peace Like a River" by tkakalecz (see profile) 09/14/09

Too much detail in some aspects of the book and left you waiting or wondering for other details of the book. I was able to get through it but only for discussion reasons. I would not have finished reading it otherwise.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by kkeenan (see profile) 09/19/09

I found myself unable to put this book down. I could not wait to find out what would happen next. It is one of the best books I have recently read.

 
  ""Peace Like a River"" by edancy (see profile) 10/05/09

This was very wordy and the plot was all over the place. It talked about many different events and characters, but was lacking in developing either one with any concrete resolution. I read it to get to the end hoping something would be completely resolved or explained.

 
  "Peace Like A River" by mgenduso (see profile) 03/06/10

 
  "Good book club discussion" by cgolden (see profile) 04/23/10

 
  "eh." by carlymu (see profile) 11/04/10

I guess it was ok, but definately not a favorite by any means, parts were hard to follow.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by wnewcomer (see profile) 12/13/10

 
  "Interesting" by stclairdp (see profile) 12/15/10

An Interesting story about the conflict between right/wrong vs family loyalty.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by ChrisA (see profile) 03/29/11

Beautifully written story exploring the universal themes of good and evil, love of family, revenge and justice. It took me on an unexpected journey that kept me interested, thinking and savoring the words.

 
  "Miracles abound!" by Downtowntb (see profile) 05/31/11

 
  "Peace Like a River" by tinaprob (see profile) 08/21/11

 
  "Peace Like a River" by LT888 (see profile) 12/28/11

This was an amazing book. Very spiritual no matter what you believe it will lift you up. I didn't expect to like this book and I ended up loving it! Even bought the audio to listen to after I read it.

 
  "Family Ties run Deep" by nbaker (see profile) 01/03/12

By far NOT the best book I've ever read but I did enjoy the story at surface value. However, I felt the character of the older brother was deeply underdeveloped and while the storyline emotional maturity of the two younger children grossly overdeveloped for their ages. I was captivated by the devotion to family. I had a hard time creating a mental image of the timeline for the book because, intermingled with the old western stories and poems of the little girl, it kept feeling like the whole experience was happing in a much earlier time than 1963. I was left confused about the theme of the story .. it is okay to "run" from our sins as long as you're not caught? to aid and abet is okay if it's family or done in the name of the Lord?

 
  "Peace Like a River" by kjthompson (see profile) 01/17/12

I liked the story told from the perspective of a child (young man). I loved the different characters. It was a very interesting and fun book to read.

 
  "Slow and Boring!" by FriendshipSisters (see profile) 01/26/12

Oh Dear! Have you ever read a book that the words, spoken in a monotone voice, lulls you to sleep? That is my synopsis of "Peace Like a River". I did enjoy the spiritual side of this story but was slowly lulled to sleep every time I attempted to read it. I wouldn't suggest you pick up this novel unless you need a good long nap.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by juliemyszko (see profile) 03/21/13

This is a beautifully written story. The characters are hard not to fall for, especially the main character, Rueben and his younger sister Swede. I would highly recommend reading this book.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by cskoniec (see profile) 01/23/15

Beautifully written story. Subject a bit disturbing, but there are various stories within the main story.

 
  "Peace Like a River " by Clueless (see profile) 01/13/16

Difficult to get through some of the descriptions, but an interesting story of struggles and hardships.

 
  "Peace Like a River" by mizele (see profile) 02/16/16

While members were split on whether they liked the book or not, it generated great discussion of the characters and events. It is not an "entertaining" book, but many thought it was worth the read.

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/12/16

 
  "" by mblindsay (see profile) 03/09/17

 
  "Peace Like a River" by lovebooks58 (see profile) 03/09/17

Beautifully written and compelling story. Many engaging characters that capture your interest and emotions in wide swings.

 
  "" by dianagraalum (see profile) 05/04/17

 
  "Peace like a River" by Spinebreakers (see profile) 05/04/17

Loved the different topic, the wide variety of subjects to discuss and how well it was written. I really got to know and love the characters. It was easy to visualize scenes in this story and I absolutely loved Swede and her poem. So many life metaphors!

 
  "" by wisamyounis (see profile) 05/04/17

 
  "" by ladydiphil (see profile) 07/06/17

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/07/18

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/22/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/20/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/15/20

 
  "" by krilljack (see profile) 07/04/20

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