Peace Like a River review Ý 104

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Peace Like a River review Ý 104 Þ Once in a great while we encounter a novel in our voluminous reading that begs to be read aloud Leif Enger's debut Peace Like a River is one such work His richly evocative novel narrated by an asthmatic 11 year old named Reuben Land is the story of Reuben's unusual family and their journey across the frozen BadlandsA tragedy a romance and an unflagging exploration into the spirituality and magic possible in the everyday world and in that of the world awaiting us on the other side of life In Enger's superb debut effort we witness a wondrous celebration of family faith and spirit the likes of which we haven't seen in a long long time and the birth of a classic work of literatur. 5★“He said ‘Can you get out of the house without rousting everybody’ Well of course I could I'd read as much Twain as the next boy”A crime a fugitive young children a road trip an adventure a romance terror near death experiences tragedy and even cowboy poetry What could I possibly want Oh yes a small hint of magic which we might believe but couldn't prove “The fact is the miracles that sometimes flowed from my father's fingertips had few witnesses but me”Young Reuben Land is eleven with terrible asthma When he was born ”my lungs refused to kick in” Twelve minutes without breathing so the kindly doctor explained why some children don’t thrive “As Mother cried out Dad turned back to me a clay child wrapped in a canvas coat and said in a normal voice ‘Reuben Land in the name of the living God I am telling you to breathe’”Yes he’s heard the story many times and not thought a lot about it really When you’re a kid you just accept the way things are He accepts for example that his older brother Davey is a strong hero learning to be a good hunter He accepts that his little sister Swede is tough and strong willed“Swede and I rarely uarreled for I never held opinions in those days and hers were never wrong” He accepts that he will always be the family weakling his lungs like faulty bellows that have become “spongebound Your breaths are sips couldn't blow out the candle on a baby's cake”But Swede’s got enough get up and go for the both of them She’s smart and she’s never at a loss for words young as she is“ ‘It worries me’ I said ‘How come’ I couldn't put words to it but Swede as usual could ‘Afraid we're being impertinent’‘Yes’‘Presumptuous Arrogant Blasphemous’ This still happens with Swede and me I'll lack a word and she'll dump out a bushel of themShe has also become enamoured of Zane Grey paperbacks and fancies herself a cowgirl and a poet so of course Reuben is her rapt audience spurring her on pardon the cowpoke jargon“What was Miss Nelson supposed to think when Swede dimpled and blond coming up on nine years old handed in a poem like ‘Sunny Sundown Delivers the Payroll’The men who worked the Redtail Mine were fed up with the bossThey swarmed around his office door like blackflies round a hoss ‘No wages these three months’ one cried ‘Let's hang the lousy ratHe'll starve our very children boys while he himself gets fat’And true enough behind the door a fat man shook and wept;The wobbling bags beneath his eyes said this man hadn't sleptA messenger had brought him word that made him feel his ageValdez last night—the third straight month—had robbed the payroll stageThus begins the long saga of Sunny Sundown and his uest to hunt down the evil Valdez as well as find himself the love of a good woman and all the other delights this young girl can dream up The main story is peppered with stanzas not all in the same rhyme and they are a delight New characters appear as Swede takes out her frustration and impatience with the family's stalled uest in verse “Then up the tight street came a rider so sweet She was light as the dawn and as free—And her hair was as black as her stallion's back And she parted the crowd like a sea” Swede’s ballad carries on through the family’s hunt across the frozen wind swept Dakotas and it is a very cold experience so I suggest you enjoy it while you yourself are warm It’s not only the cold that is breath taking but the fear and the danger are as well Not Swede but Reuben ends up on horseback terrified I have ‘slid’ like this downhill on horseback and this describes it perfectly “If you've never essayed a decline like that on the back of a horse I don't know what to tell you There's a separation from ground and a hopeless union with the animal as down you go—can't hear a thing but gravel clatter absolutely can't steer The mare laid her ears back splayed her front feet set haunches to earth and slid”Here is what it looks like but without the snow although it’s a still from the movie The Man From Snowy River Swede would have loved it“But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head”I’ve concentrated on the kids because I loved them but Dad and the other adults are every bit as engaging Enger makes sure you understand who and what these people are I’ll give one example of someone we might all like to know“There's no way a person can really prepare for someone like Mrs DeCuellar Buxom and businesslike on her doorstep once she had you inside she became the woman you wish had lived next door all the days of your childhood She was short round bright At the age when most women begin putting up their hair she wore hers long for beauty and it was beautiful—black and woolly her very own buffalo robe She had turuoise earrings and crisp metallic perfume; helping Swede off with her coat she knelt and put her cheek to Swede's and held it there a moment before getting up; then she said ‘Breakfast's ready sweet ones’ and marched us to the kitchen It was fitting that march; there was something about Mrs DeCuellar that reminded you of a bass drum”And here’s another sort of character altogether“He was of unimposing height under six feet A practical build big up top one of those men you realize why it's called a chest—you had the feeling he had all the tools he needed in there and all in working order and daily use”A supremely satisfying read I read Enger’s 2018 novel Virgil Wander before I read this and I loved it as well I reviewed that here if you’re interested Link to my ‘Virgil Wander’ reviewON a different note if you’d like to read the poem The Man From Snowy River and I recommend it here it is with no frillshttpswwwgutenbergorgfiles2132And if you’d like to see what it’s like to ride headlong downhill flat out have a look You give the horse their head lie back and hang on This is from the film where Jim is the only one who can turn the mob and bring them in Nice music even if the guy uploaded the clip with a typo on the websiteps Yes I know this is long but it' s not reuired reading

Leif Enger Ì 4 review

Once in a great while we encounter a novel in our voluminous reading that begs to be read aloud Leif Enger's debut Peace Like a River is one such work His richly evocative novel narrated by an asthmatic 11 year old named Reuben Land is the story of Reuben's unusual family and their journey across the frozen Badlands of the Dakotas in search of his fugitive older bro. I have added braided extensions to my hair dolled up my face with bad 80s makeup and donned my largest hoop earrings I now turn to the ladies of my book club as I sing Do you really want to hurt meDo you really want to make me cryBecause you must You must want to hurt me You must want to darken and deepen that annoying vertical line that spontaneously popped up between my eyebrows when I turned 40 You must want me to appear haggard and aged by making this our upcoming November readYou must hate me Oh no Do youI hope you don't hate me Hate me for stopping Hate me for hating this wannabe John Irving knock off debut I hope you don't because I love youAnd yes It is a debut I get it I hope things got better later for this author I'm not trying to be mean here It's hard to write a debut novel I've got one that's still crouching in my own computer and we're both terrified to go back out on a date togetherBut as readers we can get very distracted by the candy on the counter We are uick to dub a debut brilliant as so many reviewers have with this one—you should see the back of this book Sometimes we are too uick to coo Ooo To uote lines like “Her fingers were long capable conversant a woman's fingers slightly reddened from some recent scrubbing Her fingers were the oldest part of her”And there are lines like that in this read and you may believe they are lyrical or mystical or whatever happy adjective you want to assign them and sometimes they are But when you break it all down those beautiful lines above were thoughts that were expressed by an 11 year old an observation made on the fingers of a 12 year old he's crushing on and IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE How many 11 year old boys do YOU know who think Her fingers were the oldest part of her You're lucky if an 11 year old boy notices that he HAS hands and if he does it's probably because they're shoved down his pantsSo the 11 year old talks like an aged romantic the 8 year old talks like a wizened 88 year old and the however old he is father doesn't speak And I honestly could not figure out what time period this was supposed to be 1928 1948 1978And then we've got the whole the father levitates off of the back of his truck And the pot of soup refills itself like Jesus and the loaves and the broken saddle spontaneously repairs itself and to all of these uirky events the inconsistent voice of the narrator simply replies “Make of that what you will”Make of that what you will What kind of a literary techniue is that I believe it's known as the “cop out”Sir no offense but you aren't Isabel Allende It does not work You can not make random nonsense occur to one family in the entire world and expect me as a reader to run with itNone of this works for me Make it go away

Read Ê PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ì Leif Enger

Peace Like a RiverTher Charged with the murder of two locals who terrorized their family Davy has fled understanding that the scales of justice will not weigh in his favor But Reuben his father Jeremiah a man of faith so deep he has been known to produce miracles and Reuben's little sister Swede follow closely behind the fleeing DavyAffecting and dynamic Peace Like a River is at once. How do I write this to persuade the uninitiated how great Peace Like a River is without seeming like a freak A cursory glance at the synopsis should've had me running for the hills At its core its about good old fashioned family values faith read religion and miracles read divine intervention It also features Zane GreyLouis L'amour influenced epic poetry as penned by a precocious 8 year old narration by an asthmatic 11 year old desperadoes and fugitives from the law like Butch Cassidy Jesse James and the Younger brothers Meh I don't like old timey Westerns I'm not much for precocious kids telling stories and well as for the faith and miracles thing this Doubting Thomas subscribes to Jon Krakauer's school of thought Faith is the very antithesis of reasonAnd yet were I to put Goodreads to use as it was intended and shelve my favorites you'd find no less than three novels in my Top Ten with faithspirituality as a centerpiece David James Duncan's sublime The Brothers K and The River Why and John Irving's simply transcendent A Prayer for Owen Meany And so with the latest contender for a spot on my top ten Leif Enger's stunner makes four novels with spirituality at their nexus Go figure Peace Like a River is not exactly plot heavy There's certainly a plot here but it's one you'll want to drink in as the story and atmospherics envelop you It's a story set in the early 1960's in the cold barren farmlands of Western Minnesota and the even colder even barren Badlands of the Dakotas of the Land family narrator Reuben an asthmatic fellow relaying the events of the book in retrospect; father Jeremiah a mostly ambitionless schoolhouse janitor and ultra pious disciple of God and conduit to or source of many of the aforementioned miracles; Reuben's younger sister Swede whose poetry serves as parallel allegory to the actions of their older brother; and Davy whose actions to defend his girlfriend and sister from a pair of thugs land him in jailand worseIndelible characters particularly Ruben Swede and Jeremiah as iconic as Scout Jem and Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird unforgetable dialogue vivid you are there scenery and a story to keep you turning the pages till the wee hours yet slow enough to savor every sentence are all components of a near masterpiece I urge you all to give Enger's 2001 novel his first of only two penned a read no matter your receptivity to stories of spirituality and faith and the Old West It's a keeper Highly recommended