Random Reads: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Beautiful. Inspiring. Engaging. Rambling. Captivating. Mesmerizing.

The center of the story is about a 16-year-old boy who shoots and kills two classmates who have entered his home, at night, with ill intentions. He is tried, and jailed, but manages to escape prior to sentencing. He flees West with his father and two younger siblings following in hot pursuit. The story is told from the perspective of the middle child, Rueben, who was also a witness to the killings. As with any good book, there's so much more to this story than a short synopsis can provide.

I loved the family dynamics in this book. This family loves and needs each each other. They stick together.

I love the rambling way in which the story is told - exactly how you'd expect an 11-year-old to relate the events. The story unfolds slowly. I cannot stand how some narrators seem to have a bird's eye view of events and know (and reveal) everything at the beginning. Instead, in Peace Like a River, we feel we are living the story with Rueben, turn by turn and discovery after discovery.

I love the emphasis on God and faith. At the end of the book, there's a scene set in heaven that had me in tears! It was touching and beautiful.

If you are in a somber mood and feel the need for a breath-taking - and heartbreaking - read, then pick up this book. It won't leave you disappointed and the characters will work their way into your heart for a long time to come.


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