Author: Leif Enger
Genre: Fiction/ Literature
One of the few tragedies of working in a bookstore is seeing the popularity aftermath of a book. When there are fifty copies of something for $1 we clerks get in the mindset (if we haven’t read the book yet) that the title was a fad. Not just a fad, but it was clearly a book not worth keeping or re-reading.
Note to shoppers: just because a lot of people don’t keep their books and just because a book isn’t something people jump to re-read, does not mean it’s not worth reading in the first place.
For this very reason, it has taken me years to getting around to reading Peace Like a River. Not just that, but I was tentative and checked the book out – I didn’t even purchase it!
Next time I see a beautiful hardback, I will.
Peace Like a River is all soul filled and gorgeous with running themes concerning miracles, family, God, and consequence. It’s not what I would call a happy book, but it’s not a sad one either. I think it is one of the few in this world written truthfully about human experience, religious families, and the nature of people who function within the knowledge of an ever present God. People without the faith of Jeremiah Lands just don’t live lives like Jeremiah Lands. Some might think that would be a blessing – to go through life without such scruples. I mean, look where it got him. The fictional character finds himself in the precarious position of being a good and godly father to a fugitive, his other son – though revived from death at birth by a miracle – is a severe asthmatic. His daughter is an insanely intelligent poet, but becomes a target in their war with existence.
But Jeremiah Lands, even in pneumonia and illness, never seems exhausted. The guy is a far cry from energetic, but he is steady. He is solid. He is the kind of father I think many hope for, despite his oldest son’s resistance to him. That sort of resistance is natural, I think, when it comes to family and God. It happens. And it happens very much just like that. Davy is a good person with scruples of his own, he was raised right and chooses I think what many of us would choose in certain situations. But the consequences of his choices make faith hard, and the lack of faith makes each choice harder than the next.
I needed this book this year. And if you see a copy in a bookstore for a dollar, snatch it up quick.