Here is what I wrote about Peace Like a River in my own book blog a couple years ago. I think you will understand why I chose this book to give away.
May 1, 2006 – I’ve been re-reading this book because Cosmo (my husband) had to read it for school and he was totally taken by it. I read Peace Like a River for the first time a couple years ago when it was the selection for All Rochester Reads the Same Book and it didn’t really strike a chord with me at the time. When Cos loved it, I decided I should give it another try, because this is a man who is not a reader. I wanted to see what appealed to him so much, and believe it or not, I understand.
Peace is a family story full of mystery, memorable characters, and heart. I find myself totally drawn to Swede this time around, even though I found her rather annoying during my first read of the story. I’m wondering now why I wasn’t moved by the story the first time I read it. It is full of magical realism, which I first encountered done beautifully in The Milagro Bean Field Wars and thought then that it couldn’t be done any better. I was wrong. Enger blends the power of God with faith, healing, and love in a way that rivals the story Nichols spins in Milagro. There are no shrines to Smokey the Bear in Peace, but there is Sunny Sundown, which bears a remarkable similarity in meter to my grandfather’s favorite poem, The Shooting of Dan McGrew.
Enger tells the story of the Land family and their attempt to track down fugitive eldest son, Davy, who stands accused of murder. Our narrator, 11 year old Ruben Land, tells an evocative, sometimes heart-rending story of a family searching for redemption and for each other. Enger weaves their individual stories together with Swede’s imaginative tale of Sunny Sundown and produces a tale for the ages. The story speaks to me about all the things that matter – family, faith, imagination — and the miracles that occur everywhere, all things I want to share with others. – Patty Uttaro