Book Review: Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River by Leif Engle is one of the best reads I encountered so far in 2016.  It was recommended by a friend who had borrowed it from the library, and she wanted me to read it so badly, she sent an Amazon copy to my front door (good friend!).  One of the blurbs on the book said, it “serves as a reminder of why we read fiction to begin with.”

The Land family,consists of  father-Jeremiah, Davy-older brother, Ruben-narrator and wonderful but asthmatic middle child, and Swede- the blonde haired blue eyed baby of the family, whom one reviewer compares to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.  The story is set in Minnesota and travels to the Dakota badlands as the story progresses.  The characters are unforgettable and the plot is suspenseful to the point where you discover you are holding your breath as you read.

There is a peace, as mentioned in the title, constantly searched for and finally attained by both the characters and the reader. One reviewer called the novel, “the perfect book for an anxious time,” referring to both the decade of the novel and today’s times which often require the total immersion in a good book to “make it through.”

I wholeheartedly recommend this book as a good investment of your reading time.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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