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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book of the year.
Eleven-year-old Reuben Hand began life by not breathing for twelve minutes. But by a miracle he survived 'in order to be a witness' to other miracles. He is the compelling narrator of this funny, tragic, and ultimately uplifting story. The members of Reuben's family are irresistible: his eight-year old sister Swede, who writes epic poems about cowboys; his older brother...
Published on 30 Jan 2003 by Caroline Lawrence

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Saccharine
I struggled to read this, but was put off by the sugary sentiment that dripped off every page. If you want to have your heart warmed until it spontaneously combusts, then this is the book for you. If not, then leave it well alone.
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by The Green Man


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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
Recommended to me by amazon based on what I'd already read, this was a fantastic introduction to a writer previously unknown to me. I love this book so much that I've been recommending it to friends, family and reading groups everywhere. It is quite simply a very beautiful book brilliantly written. If you enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird...or Stand By Me ...or John Irving books...you will love this. Immediately accessible, you won't be able to put this book down. I cannot enthuse about it enough. Just read it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peace Like a River, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
I have not been able to get this wonderful book from any local bookseller - I had been told it is out of print. I was delighted to see it on Amazon at an excellent price and in such good condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!, 26 Nov 2010
This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
Beautifully written and one of the most engaging books that I have ever read. Do yourself a favour, buy a copy and take yourself off somewhere quiet to read. You won't regret it for a minute and you'll find yourself reading slower and slower because you simply won't want it to finish. Flawless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartacheingly beautiful, 11 Sep 2009
This review is from: Peace Like a River (Hardcover)
A modern take on the Western genre, an evangelistic picture of God in action, a heartacheingly beautiful journey through the sorrows of life? All of these: couldn't put it down, didn't want it to end.

For those unfamiliar with the old hymn:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly original book, 3 Feb 2008
By 
Suzie (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
I had never heard of Leif Enger or 'Peace like a River', and it's not a book I would have chosen myself so I would probably never have read it if a friend hadn't given it me for Christmas. And what a treat I would have missed!

The narrator, Reuben Land - an asthmatic who didn't breathe for the first twelve minutes of his life and yet, miraculously suffered no brain damage - is grown up by the time he relates the story but he writes from the perspective of his eleven-year-old self. I didn't like the description in the second chapter of shooting his first goose (but that's just me, I hate anything that involves hurting animals - mammals, birds, frogs - you name it), but the descriptions and character depiction were masterful so I pressed on.

The story - essentially of a father and his two younger children trying to track down Davy, the older brother who is on the run from the law following an incident that is all too understandable - is strong and unusual. But it is the characterisation that sets the novel apart. Reuben becomes so real that it's almost as if you're there with him and his sister Swede. Even in alien and unfamiliar situations it is impossible not to empathise with him.

It's also a very American story, a story that simply wouldn't work if set in Britain, and as such uses words that are often unfamiliar (probably less so if you're used to American films) - 'bushwhacked' being but one example - but it is so compellingly written and peppered with wry humour that nothing, even their father's 'miracles', seems far-fetched or unlikely.

At no stage did I find the story predictable. Once started, you just have to keep reading to see what happens in the end, and there are many surprises on the way. The author even managed to make the ending both sad but positive, and for me at least, entirely unexpected.

Do give it a try. I'm sure you can't fail to be moved, inspired, or at the least diverted by a few hours of compulsive reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book., 31 July 2007
By 
maya j (Quail Crossing) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
'Peace Like a River' is a phenomenal book. It is written from the perspective of Ruben Land, an asthmatic child, and we see, feel and hear what it was like growing up in mid-America 40 years ago under less than ideal circumstances. Ruben is a self-effacing, insightful young man/boy, and he endears himself so much to the reader, you just can't help but pull for him. I was absolutely delighted with the tone and cadence of Ruben's narration, which is done in a child-like, country vernacular, but which doesn't sound ignorant or hackneyed. There are times when I literally laughed out loud at his adorable observations of people and circumstances. The other characters (Ruben's dad, his sister Swede, his older brother Davy, and many others) are so well fleshed out, you really feel for them, find them repugnant or are indifferent, just the same as real life.

The book starts out with some terrible situations, and from there, the family tries to recover and move forward all at once. The interactions between Ruben and his adorably precocious little sister "Swede" just have you rolling on the floor. It makes you want to know this little girl just to see what her impression of you would be. Rube and Swede's relationship is reminiscent of Scout and Jem from 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. And really, the family dynamic is a bit similar to that as well; the mother is gone, and the father and his three kids are left. There is one thing that overshadows all aspects of this story and that is Ruben's asthma. There are times when I truly felt like I couldn't breath; the description of his asthma was so realistic.

Finally, this really is a wonderful work of literary fiction. It is so beautifully written and so touchingly poignant, you could say, "I laughed, I cried", it was a joyous experience.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply stunning, 19 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Peace Like a River (Paperback)
quite simply one of the most moving books i have read recently. highly reccommended.
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Peace Like a River
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (Paperback - 7 Aug 2002)
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