Peace Like A River.

on October 27, 2009 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 18 comments by

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?


  1. Southern Gal
    posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 6:43 AM  |  reply

    I recently read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks in a day and a half. I cried like a baby.

    Now I’m looking for something else that won’t be a let down. Sounds like this might be it. If only our library has it…

  2. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 6:45 AM  |  reply

    And they have it! I’ll get it today. Thanks!

  3. kelli
    posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 7:28 AM  |  reply

    it is one of my all time favorites!! love love love it!

  4. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 7:33 AM  |  reply

    Wow. I’m intrigued!

  5. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 8:50 AM  |  reply

    I read this book about a year ago and LOVED it as well. Just gave it to a friend last week. It’s just such a beautiful story- the end is the absolute best. I feel your love for it, Annie, and he finally released his 2nd book which I can’t remember the title of because it’s in a moving box somewhere- google it. It’s about boys and western stuff- looks good. I don’t like much fiction, but I LOVED this one- excellent writer!

  6. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:00 AM  |  reply

    It’s on my list now!

  7. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:18 AM  |  reply

    Guess I will be looking for this book on our little shopping excursion this weekend! Have you read “Same Kind of Different as Me”? I HIGHLY recommend it if you haven’t – just have tissue ready for like the last four chapters of the book!! That’s all Im saying …

  8. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM  |  reply

    wow, the book sounds amazing!! def. will look into it!! 🙂

  9. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:52 AM  |  reply

    I haven’t read it, but you sold me! I will read it next!

  10. Susan Dickerson
    posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:59 AM  |  reply

    Perfect timing…

  11. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 10:34 AM  |  reply

    I’ve read the book! And I loved it as well–so powerful and thought provoking 🙂

  12. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 10:45 AM  |  reply

    I read it! It was amazing. Now I can’t remember all the story but I do remember the effect it had on me and every time I see the cover I am brought back to those emotions. Words can’t express it but my heart takes a big sigh and lets go.

  13. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM  |  reply

    Its on my shelf of way too many books I have purchased and have yet to read….I’ll move it to the top of the stack!!

  14. posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 5:18 PM  |  reply

    It’s right up there with my favorites!!! Love it…

  15. Face
    posted on Oct 27, 2009 at 10:44 PM  |  reply

    Yes yes yes. LOVE that one.
    Someone may have already said this, but “So Brave, Young & Handsome” is good stuff, too. Very different, but good.

  16. posted on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:37 PM  |  reply

    Not only have I read it, I own two copies of it so I can loan it out. Because I love it. And you might not believe me, but just today I picked up one copy, paged through it, read some parts and thought, Hmmmm, maybe I should read this again. Now.

    I also have “So Brave, Young & Handsome” on my shelf and thought maybe I should read that next. But probably I’ll just reread “Peace Like a River”. I need to read something really really really good right now.

  17. posted on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:50 AM  |  reply

    i read pace like a river in my novel writing class, and loved it. it’s not the kind of book i would pick up on my own, and i did not expect to finish the book and regret it because there wasn’t anymore to read. But that’s exactly what happened. Our teacher made us write a paper to defend whether the book is a good piece of literature or not, and it made me think through the story and how it’s presented, and in the end i realized we read the book for novel writing class because of how effortlessly leif enger ties in the poem with the story, and how subtle yet provoking the story is. so, in short, i agree with you that this book is a must-read. thanks for blogging about it — the book deserves to be chatted up 🙂

  18. posted on Nov 07, 2009 at 11:27 PM  |  reply

    Found this in a used book store in CO Springs today, and bought it… because of this blog. 🙂

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