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Peace Like a River

If you enjoy reading at all, you need to read this book:


It’s the story of a remarkable family — the Lands — who set out across Minnesota and North Dakota in 1962 in search of a teenage son, Davy, who has killed two intruders in their home, gone to jail and then broken out. The family includes the dad, Jeremiah, a son, Reuben (the narrator), and a daughter, Swede.

Jeremiah occasionally performs a miracle that Reuben witnesses and tries to make sense of. Might sound odd, but it works. Enger is a descriptive writer, captivating you from the first pages, pulling you along with allusions to westerns and classic adventures tales and the Bible. His voice is engaging and you’ll care about what happens to characters you come to know.

Faith is infused throughout the story, but as John Piper says in his recommendation of the book, “There’s faith in it, but not like your usual faith. More strange, like the Bible.”

One excerpt:

Real miracles bother people, like strange sudden pains unknown in medical literature. It’s true: They rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. Lazarus obeying orders and climbing up out of the grave — now there’s a miracle, and you can bet it upset a lot of folks who were standing around at the time. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A miracle contradicts the will of earth.

My sister, Swede, who often sees to the nub, offered this: People fear miracles beacuse they fear being changed — though ignoring them will change you also. Swede said another thing too, and it rang in me like a bell: No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here’s what I saw. Here’s how it went. Make of it what you will.

Read it, read it, read it. Good stuff. It’ll stick with you longer than the latest Grisham book (yes, I read those too).

You can buy it here or read parts of it here. Enjoy.



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