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Peace Like a River [Paperback]

Leif Enger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

To the list of great American child narrators that includes Huck Finn and Scout Finch, let us now add Reuben "Rube" Land, the asthmatic 11-year-old boy at the centre of Leif Enger's remarkable first novel, Peace Like a River. Rube recalls the events of his childhood, small-town Minnesota circa 1962, in a voice that perfectly captures the poetic verbal stoicism of the Northern Great Plains. "Here's what I saw," Rube warns his readers. "Here's how it went. Make of it what you will." And Rube sees plenty.

In the winter of his 11th year, two schoolyard bullies break into the Land house, and Rube's big brother Davy guns them down with a Winchester. Shortly after his arrest Davy breaks out of jail and goes on the lam. Swede is Rube's younger sister, a precocious writer who crafts rhymed epics of romantic Western outlawry. Shortly after Davy's escape, Rube, Swede and their father, a widowed school custodian, hit the road too, swerving this way and that across Minnesota and North Dakota, determined to find their lost outlaw Davy. In the end it's not Rube who haunts the reader's imagination, it's his father, torn between love for his outlaw son and the duty to do the right, honest thing. Enger finds something quietly heroic in the bred-in-the-bone Minnesota decency of America's heartland. Peace Like A River opens up a new chapter in Midwestern literature. --Claire Dederer, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Enger has given his narrator a voice that is perfect for this frozen fairytale.' -- The Times

'Poetic, magical and deeply moving...a remarkable book that can't come too highly recommended as an antidote for our uncertain times.' -- Birmingham Post

'Poignant and poetic, this story is crafted in the grand tradition of American coming-of-age literature.' -- Scotsman

'Resonant...a likeable, thought provoking read.' -- Literary Revew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

What happens when ordinary lives are shattered by extraordinary circumstances? The Land family enjoy an idyllic existence until their oldest son, Davy, is arrested for a double manslaughter. But Davy breaks out of jail and flees into the bleak Dakota Badlands. Davy's father Jeremiah gathers his younger children and pursues the outlaw into the wilderness. A desperate journey leads them all to a place from which there is no return: a place that will test them almost beyond endurance and stretch the ties that bind them to their absolute limit.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons.
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