The quiet 1960s midwestern life of the Lands is upended when Reuben's brother, Davy, kills two marauders who have come to harm the family. The morning of his sentencing, Davy (a hero to some, a cold-blooded murderer to others) escapes from his cell, and the Lands set out in search of him. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and they cover territory even more extraordinary than the Badlands, where they search for Davy from their Airstream trailer.
Sprinkled with playful nods to Biblical tales, beloved classics such as Huckleberry Finn,, the adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the westerns of Zane Grey, Peace Like A River is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story, and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world.
©2001 Leif Enger; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers
"Actor Chad Lowe reads with a warm, deliberative voice perfectly suited to Leif Enger's meditative and melodic story of a family's search throughout the West for its outlaw son. Lowe doesn't attempt any verbal flourishes, nor does he try to give specific voices to different characters. Instead, he simply and beautifully reads aloud - slowly enough for Enger's evocative prose to shine and with just enough emotion to magnify this tale of the redemptive power of love." (AudioFile)
This book is captivating, poetically written, and the rings true. A coming of age story on par, in my opinion, with such greats as "To Kill A Mockingbird," "Catcher in the Rye," and "Tom Sawyer." Yes, it is THAT good. Kept me involved from the first moment to the end. Chad Lowe does a fantastic job narrating - very believable as the voice of the main character and transitions well to the voices of other characters. I'll recommend this book over and over.
This is an imaginative, well written, well read, easy to listen to book. It presents what I guess the atmosphere in the mid west to be like mid 20th century.
I found it uplifting emotionally and spiritually.
Its Christian and family oriented.
Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.
I actually enjoyed the story and I don't regret listening to it. I loved the characters, especially the two youngest children. I found it way too heavy on the spiritual. The descriptions of after life dragged on and on. The narrator was just so, so. Did a fine job with the general story telling and even the kids' voices. His adult voices almost grated on me. I didn't think the character of Sarah was well developed. I needed to know more about her.
First, the book itself is a joy. There are wonderful turns of phrases. The descriptions of people and feelings are just so good.
Second, the narration is a delight to listen to! My entire family enjoyed listening.
I really wanted to like this story. The premise was interesting, and, as a believer, the father was a compelling character. But I found the writing frustrating and the story line tedious. For starters, dialog that is utterly unrealistic for the characters (9 year-olds talking and responding like 30 year-olds) and an author so bent on using clever turns of phases as to make some passages almost unreadable. Imagery is one thing, but if you're going to tell a story, just tell a story. Show your readers a little respect and don't make them un-code phrases just because you wanted to show how clever you can be in your wording. For the story line, I just found that the story started out grim and continued to become increasingly more depressing to the very end. Any possible symbolism just got lost in a rambling story line that never really went anywhere. Maybe I need to re-listen (the narration was fine, in my opinion), because on a first read I honestly just couldn't wait for it to be over.
Personally well past 12, this story can be safely enjoyed by any teen or wisened preteen who is prepared for not subtle murder and more subtle young girl abuse. The violence is NOT gratuitous, but the author is an excellent word crafter so the images can stay there awhile. I am Most pleased with how he weaves Christian faith into this excellent story. It is NOT a book of cliche's at all. I hope he writes many more.
Business & Computing Strategist
The story is written on multiple levels and presents a wonderful suprficial mystery while building a number of eternal truths into the characters and the plot. I recommend it!
What a wonderfully written, joyously uplifting, painfully heartbreaking, powerfully inspiring story! You took me back to my childhood and some similar experiences. Thank You Mr. Enger.
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