Our group joined together again in February via Zoom to discuss the selection of the month, Leif Enger's "Peace Like a River". The story is told from the perspective of a young boy, Reuben, who lives with his father, brother and precocious younger sister in a small Minnesota town in the 1950's. Reuben's older brother is on trial for the murder of two intruders when he escapes from jail and flees to South Dakota. The majority of the story is about Reuben and his family searching for his brother. Reuben's father is a strongly religious man and there are many allegorical themes represented in the book.
Overall, the book was greatly enjoyed by the group. We discussed how the children's experiences of being a child in the 1950's was very different from today. Some of us also shared experiences from living in mid-western areas with difficult winters (as was the setting for the majority of the story). We also talked about the South Dakota Badlands and the interesting geography featured in the book.
Peace Like a River was written in 2001 and was a highly acclaimed book when it debuted. The group agreed that it was deserving of the praise it received.