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Extended Audio Sample Peace Like a River Audiobook, by Leif Enger Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.99991733487642 out of 52.99991733487642 out of 52.99991733487642 out of 52.99991733487642 out of 52.99991733487642 out of 5 3.00 (36,291 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leif Enger Narrator: Chad Lowe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2005 ISBN: 9780060884192
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Born with no air in his lungs, it was only when Reuben Land’s father, Jeremiah, picked him up and commanded him to breathe that Reuben’s lungs filled. Reuben struggles with debilitating asthma from then on, making him a boy who knows firsthand that life is a gift, and also one who suspects that his father is touched by God and can overturn the laws of nature.

The Lands’ quiet, 1960s Midwestern life is upended when Reuben’s brother Davy kills two marauders who have come to harm the family. The morning of his sentencing, Davy—a hero to some, a cold-blooded murderer to others—escapes from his cell, and the Lands set out in search of him. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.

Sprinkled with playful nods to Biblical tales, beloved classics such as Huckleberry Finn, the adventure stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the westerns of Zane Grey, Peace Like a River is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story, and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I’m urging this book on you because it is written in prose tart and crisp as a Minnesota Autumn. Peace Like a River is seductive and chatty and deliciously American and there are passages so wondrous and wise you’ll want to claw yourself with pleasure.”

    Frank McCourt, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Once you begin Leif Enger’s Peace Like A River, you are carried away by the elemental surge of its story, the sheer eagerness to see what happens to the engrossing characters who exist far from the intrusions of the media in the timeless arena of family love and anguish over a lost member. It is Enger’s gift that he has made their extraordinary world credible.”

    Jim Harrison, New York Times bestselling author

  • Peace Like a River is that loveliest of gifts, a truly great book, into which the reader can sink deliciously and completely. The characters fill the reader’s days and nights; and in the reading of it, we cross over into amazing territory.”

    Rick Bass

  • “What readers will appreciate first in Enger’s marvelous novel is the language. His limpid sentences are composed with the clarity and richness for which poets strive…Enger’s profound understanding of human nature stands behind his compelling prose.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “You don’t see novels like this one very often. Peace Like a River reminds a reader of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong or even Norman MacLean’s A River Runs Through It. It’s got that pure American loss of innocence theme, that belief in and fascination with miracles, that insistence on the goodness of men outside of the law.”

    Angeles Times Book Review 

  • “It’s the impassioned honesty of his quiet, measured narrative voice that gives weight and truth to the fantastic elements of this engrossing tale…This is a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt in a North Dakota winter, a novel about faith, miracles and family that is, ultimately, miraculous.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Winner of the 2002 YALSA Alex Award
  • A 2001 Book Sense Book of the Year
  • A 2001 Los Angeles Times Best Book
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A 2001 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tamara Rasch | 2/20/2014

    " I love the voice of the main character. Excellent writing, beautiful story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 2/18/2014

    " Great voice & compelling story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig Wright | 1/12/2014

    " Peace Like a River is a story with such great flow, it feels like it could be a movie. Enger makes his writing seem so easy and natural that at times it is hard to think about the writing because it rolls on so well. The story follows the quest to find Davy after he flees from the court after a self defense murder. As Reuben and his family look for Davy to complete their family, many other adventures come up and lead to a satisfying conclusion. It took me a while to fully appreciate this book. After finishing it, I thought it was a good book, but that it was nothing special. Over the summer, my mom started to read it and it hit me of how good and detailed this book actually is. I may read it again soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Grubba derham | 1/11/2014

    " Loved this book. MN author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 1/11/2014

    " The story's strongest suit is the family. The younger brother (book written in his voice) has a life-long respect for his older brother who ends up being somewhat distant (I won't say the details to spoil the story). Their relationship from childhood to older age is a lightening rod for the story. You really get a good sense of the the environments they live, outdoors, hunting, the school, homes, friends homes, etc. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffanie | 1/10/2014

    " just could not get into it, maybe I will try it again some other time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rita Graham | 1/8/2014

    " This is such a spectacular book that I will need to return to write a real review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbin Blow | 12/8/2013

    " WOW after being illuminated to the Biblical references at Book Club I see the light. It was well done especially from a first time novelist. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Elliott | 12/5/2013

    " My friend Dan chides me for appreciating this book, who knows? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tonya | 11/18/2013

    " I enjoyed the poetic language in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 10/22/2013

    " one of my absolute favorites. must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 10/22/2013

    " The story was good but I found it hard to read. The name says it all! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 9/25/2013

    " Loved it. I'm from North Dakota and it was terrific to feel the setting so well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trish | 9/11/2013

    " Wonderful narrative. Enger has an easy and relaxed style and has created truly endearing and memorable characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyn Anderson | 5/13/2013

    " This is an extremely tender story. Full of tears and laughter as well. I highly recommend it for reading! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Korey Leinweber | 2/20/2013

    " Weird, like it was written forty years ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry Grussing | 1/9/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. The story, the writing, the character, it's all good. I especially enjoyed Swede's writing. Highly recommend this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 9/29/2012

    " I loved this book! When you finish it, it makes you take a deep sigh, and smile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arlene | 6/3/2012

    " One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juli | 5/23/2012

    " Another favorite book.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marie | 5/23/2012

    " Pretty good book by a MN author. The Swede and Reuben brother-sister duo reminded me of Scout and Jem from "To Kill a Mockingbird." Swede's poetry is highly entertaining. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steven Felicelli | 11/2/2011

    " got three pages in before the gag reflex kicked in "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 8/11/2011

    " The San Fransisco Chronicle says "Peace Like a River serves as a reminder of why we read fiction to begin with." And I agree. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey | 6/23/2011

    " One of the most beautifully written books -- the wording is magical, even if the story isn't quite as compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aprocuniar | 5/23/2011

    " A longtime favorite I re-read for bookclub and I loved it as much as ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 5/23/2011

    " This is a quiet book but a great study in life in the plains. I liked it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Barbara | 5/20/2011

    " No one in our book group liked this book - and I was the one that had to make up questions and ask them! What a pain. Of the 8 attendees, only 3 (including me) finished it. All the rest started it and decided it wasn't worth finishing.

    I have no idea where the name came from! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Trisha | 5/14/2011

    " I did not really enjoy this book. It was too far fetched for me to even contemplate the events truly happening to the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 5/13/2011

    " A book that really made me think, question and ponder. I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fairview | 5/13/2011

    " If "To Kill a Mockingbird" took place in Minnesota, and if Atticus Finch had a miracle or two up his sleeve. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 5/10/2011

    " This is my favorite fiction book of the year so far. I bought this book for my mother so she could enjoy it as well. This is a great book club pick or beach read. It is not expected or predictable. The characters are interesting and unique. This is a book that will stay with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/8/2011

    " LOVE this book b/c of the powerful father figure. Free sample at a conference YEARS before it made its mark on the charts. Want to read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 5/5/2011

    " Don't ask me why I've had this one on my bookshelf for 10 years and not read it before now. It was worth the wait. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitney | 5/5/2011

    " As an asthmatic I absolutely LOVE the description of what it is like to wake in the night with breathing problems. "

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About the Author
Author Leif Enger

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.

About the Narrator

Chad Lowe, an Emmy Award winning actor, has starred in such television series as Life Goes On, E.R., Now and Again and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.