Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peace Like A river

The Book: Peace Like A River

The Author: Leif Enger

The Dealio: Narrated by 11 year old Rube Land, Peace takes the reader back to small-town Minnesota of 1962. Rube, his older brother, Davy, and their younger sister, Swede, live a quiet life with Jeremiah, their widowed school-janitor dad. Till the night two hoods with a fondness for bullying break into the Land house and are shot by Davy. In one moment, the small family's entire world is twisted inside out, first by the jailing of Davy, then, later, by the events that follow his escape from jail, and cross-country flight.
This is an astonishing book in its scope, sweep, down-to-earth-edness and sheer gorgeousness of spirit. Ever-entertaining, there are moments of sheer, poetic majesty, mysticism and gentleness, mingled with the urgency of both Davy's plight and the family's singular response to it.

The Grading Session: 5.01 pengies out of 5. This was a true gem of a story, and, oddly enough, although Rube is the narrator, we focus in much more closely to the soul of the tale: Swede, a tiny, determined, old-soul-in-a-young-body of a tomboy, who is so completely absorbed in the drama and grandeur of the Wild West, she spends her days- and nights- painstakingly crafting epic poems and stories about her own cast of good guys and life-and-death action plots. There is far more to this youngster than first meets the eye. And, I might say, the same goes for the mysteriously gifted Jeremiah. Check it out.

Lessons Learned: There are still amazing writers out there, capable of sneaking up on you with a story that will alternately break your heart and make you laugh.
Too, there is nothing like family, when you back's to the wall. And lastly- what a pleasure to explore unfamiliar terrain with someone guiding the way who truly loves and celebrates the setting.

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