Set in the Minnesota countryside and North Dakota Badlands of the early 1960s, Peace Like a River is a moving, engrossing, beautifully told story about one family's quest to retrieve its most wayward member. Reuben Land, the novel's asthmatic and self-effacing eleven-year-old narrator, recounts an unforgettable journey riddled with outlaw tales, heartfelt insights, and bona fide miracles. Born without air in his lungs, Reuben is keenly aware of the gift of breath—and, by extension, the gift of life. Time and again, both gifts are bestowed on Reuben by his father, a gentlemanly soul who works as a school janitor and has the power—and faith—to bestow true miracles. But when Davy (Reuben's brother) kills two intruders who break into the Land home with evil intent, and then escapes from prison while his trial is in progress, events seem to have worsened beyond the aid of miracles. Or have they? For, once Reuben and his family set out to find Davy, the reader eventually witnesses rivers, plains, and city lights unseen by mortal eyes.
Equal parts tragedy, romance, adventure yarn, and meditation, Peace Like a River is an inspired story of family love, religious faith, and the lifelong work and trust required of both. Leif Enger's first novel is a work of easy generosity and uncommon wisdom, a book to be shared with friends and loved ones.
Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and has worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio since 1984. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons.