22 October, 2021

LitStack Recs: ‘The Films in My Life’ and ‘Peace Like a River’

Peace Like a River by Leif Engerpeace

The other day I went “thrifting” with my daughter, and came away from the local Goodwill with a treasure: a copy of Leif Enger’s debut novel, “Peace Like a River”. This is one book that hit me right in the heart, but the copy I had read was from the library; until now, I didn’t have one taking up permanent residence on my shelves. I’m so happy that omission has been rectified.

“Peace Like a River”, on the surface, is the story of a younger brother’s search for his older brother, who is on the run from the law. But it is so much more. It is a story contingent on the kindness of strangers, a quiet witness to miracles, a testament to the power of family, and a reminder that love can overcome even the most tragic of circumstances. It’s not an easy book – not in that it’s convoluted or complex, but because it’s so personal – yet it’s a very rewarding, very affirming experience.

Once in my life I knew a grief so hard I could actually hear it inside, scraping at the lining of my stomach, an audible ache, dredging with hooks as rivers are dredged when someone’s been missing too long.”

It’s a beautiful book, beautifully written. At this time as we are emerging from our winter slumber, it would be a wonderful book to read. Even if you have to go to Goodwill to find a copy.

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