Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Peace Like a River is one of those books that seemed like it found me, rather than the other way around. I was about to embark on a 20+ hour bus trip to Washington, D.C. for my job, and as I was packing the day before I realized I had no book to bring with me. Running to the library, I spotted this one and remembered that someone at some point had recommended it to me, but I had forgotten who (I still can’t recall). I checked it out without looking at what it was about, and started reading it on the journey.
A journey it was. I was transported from from a road trip in mid-American summer heat to winter cold and snow in my home state, Minnesota. Leif Enger is from Minnesota, and it shows. He describes life there in a way that makes you really feel it, and for me, having grown up there, I was able to think: Yes. That’s home. I often cite it as my favorite book (when forced– because who has a favorite book?!)– the storytelling is transcendent; Enger paints Minnesota as the beautiful, mystical place it is. But the book is much deeper than a description of Minnesota landscape– if you like family dramas with a mystical kick, this book is perfect for you (it was for me).
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