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Extended Audio Sample Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (36,290 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leif Enger Narrator: Chad Lowe Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 by 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 by Leah | 2/18/2014

    " Great voice & compelling story. "

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

    " Loved this book. MN author. "

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