peace-like-a-riverNo one paid me to say this. In fact, I wish I could tell you that I knew the author of this book, Leif Enger, and he had asked me personally to blog about his first novel. I wanna know him. Leif, if this blog post pops up on your google alerts, hi. My name is Annie. I have just returned from swimming in the sea of your novel for the last few weeks and I absolutely adored it. Can we grab coffee sometime when you are in Nashville? I think I’m bound to be a better writer if we sit at the same table for a few minutes.

Our book club just finished reading Peace Like a River. And I guess my intro letter to author Leif Enger kinda spoiled the tension of wondering how I felt about the book.

Amazing. Deep. Thought provoking. Funny. Heartbreaking. Heartwarming. Beautiful.

I checked it out of the library. But I am going to buy a copy. THAT is the AnnieBlogs2009 stamp of approval. You get my money? You win. Congrats.

I’m not going to give you the back cover copy- I didn’t love it [no offense, Leif. I bet you didn’t write that part].

The book is told from an 11 year old boy’s point of view- about his family and that one time his brother killed two other boys. It’s full of tragedy, miracles, prayer, asthma, an airstream trailer, murder, Westerns, outlaws, good food, love, and the spunkiest little girl I could ever have the pleasure of meeting.

I could see this book in my mind. Every scene, every page, is written with such precision and grace that it shows details without being pushy. The bad guys are REALLY bad. The good guys are DEEPLY good. The bad guys who end up being the good guys? You never see it coming. The ageless wisdom and responsibility of Swede, the daughter, is admirable and heartbreaking at the same time.

And throughout is a poem. A cowboy poem. You know the kind. The kind of poem that makes you feel like the bad guy is surely going to prevail and the good cowboy may not have enough time to rescue the girl before the campfire goes out. And that poem, woven from start to finish, stole my heart. My secretly-in-love-with-the-wild-west heart.

So there you go- I just had to tell you about it. I mean, what good is a blogista if she doesn’t give you reading recommendations?

So if you are looking for some fall reading, I vote Peace Like a River. I loved it.

Have any of y’all already read it?