Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Audio Classic

Finished August 16
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, performed by Chad Lowe
I listened to the audiobook on the recommendation our staff member who buys adult fiction. She loved it and thought I would too. And she was right.
The book is told from the point of view of Reuben Land, a boy of eleven. Reuben was born with no air in his lungs and his father Jeremiah overrode the doctor and insisted on his son breathing, and he did, an event considered a miracle by the family. As a side effect of this however, Reuben suffers from severe bouts of asthma. Reuben also feels that his father has a direct connection to God and is capable of things most ordinary men are not.
In 1962 Jeremiah came across two young men preying on a young woman in a school locker room and the young men vowed vengeance. As the young men escalate their battles against the Lands, Reuben's 16-year-old brother Davy (and boyfriend of the young woman) joins in the escalation and kills the young men.
The Land family finds their lives upturned by the events, and when Davy breaks out of jail and goes on the run, things only become worse for the family.
Jeremiah, Reuben, and the boys younger sister Swede, an 8-year-old budding writer, set off in an Airstream trailer in search of Davy. They encounter friends and strangers and make new lasting relationships, but it is Reuben who is most changed by the experiences. He suffers from guilt in being the only eyewitness to Davy's actions, and thus being used in the case against him. He suffers from other betrayals and secret-keeping. He is harder on himself than most others are on him. This is a haunting story that will stay with the reader for a while.

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