On the Backlist: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

It’s difficult, really, to explain a novel like Peace Like a River. I try to be discriminating about how often I give five stars when I review books, so that when I do, it really means something. Here, five stars doesn’t even feel like enough. Trite quips like “tour de force” and “emotional powerhouse” come to mind as I try to think of how to describe this book, but overall, the feeling one comes away with after reading it is still, quiet power. There were moments in Enger’s writing that made me stop and think about what I believed, what I loved, and what I thought was true about life. I don’t know how to ask anything more from writing.

More impressively, Enger manages to be an impressively entertaining author: his story about Reuben and his family is wholly engaging, entertaining, quirkily funny, and entirely charming. Think along the lines of A River Runs through It…only, in my opinion, more interesting and touching. Let me put it this way: I cracked this open for the first time while sitting down on the bed to put some lotion on my feet before turning in, and found myself totally unable to focus on anything but what I was reading. It’s *that* well-written. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Clean. Amazing. 5 stars.

5 Stars

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