Great Books: Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

I stayed up late at night to finish this book. I've been in sleep deficit for a week. I hope that's a strong enough recommendation.

Peace Like a River isn't on Robert Teeter's list of Great Books, but I'm labeling it that way anyhow because of home field advantage. When I conducted a poll of best works of American fiction, Peace Like a River came in second, with five votes.

It's very good. A magnetic read. It's about a boy growing up in the Midwest is the sixties; it's about his father, who can perform miracles; it's about his sister, who writes lyric cowboy poetry; it's about the older brother who changes their lives. Enger excels at producing tension; I knew that there was always something awful lurking around the corner because there WAS always something awful lurking around the corner.

I'm almost inarticulate in terms of describing how much I liked this book. I loved Swede's silly cowboy poetry and the way it changes as her family gets into more and more trouble. I love the way I could smell the cold as they drove along in the Badlands, and the cinnamon buns.

1 comment:

wrnglrjan said...

Oh, I'm so glad you liked this one. It is the most wonderful thing I've read in a long time. I can't remember the last time I just didn't want a book to be over yet.