You know how bookstores just grab you the minute you walk in the door? Well, I discovered a new bookstore in Austin and it did more than grab me. It entranced me. It’s called BookPeople and it was so amazing.
I walked through the entire fiction section looking for something to jump out and beg me to take it home. The book I found is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. One the back Tom Walker from The Denver Post has written, ” Once in a great while, a book comes along that has such wonderful characters and marvelous prose, that you read it as much for the pure joy it offers on every page as to find out how it ends.”
Dan Cryer from Newsday says, “What allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagaious humanity….There is magic here, none more potent than Enger’s prose.”
Both reviews are so true. I would’ve never picked up the book if the people at BookPeople hadn’t marked it as a must read. So often book stores mark the Oprah books or pretentious literary novels that leave me with a headache. Book People definitely had some of those marked, but they had TONS of books marked. There was no snobby disregard for genre fiction. Even romance was hilighted. It was great.
Peace Like a River isn’t a romance. The back cover blurb sums it up perfectly: “in its conclusion [it] shows how family love and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies and the most tragic of fates.”
I hope this book stands the test of time. Its hero, 11-yr-old Rueben Land, will stay with me a long time. He’s quite possibly the most vivid character I’ve ever read. (And that’s saying a lot because I’ve read MILLIONS of books) If you get a chance, pick up the book. It is sheer joy to read.