In Leif Enger's Peace Like a River, a family tie is tested. When one member of the tight-knit Land family ill preparedly takes the law inot his own hands he struggles to achieve impossible freedom. Enger's unique word choice and style of writing helps depict this breathtaking series of events with miraculous flow. The plot of Peace Like a River is one worth mentioning. Reuben's entire family is conflicting with two "town bullies". When Reuben's father, Jeremiah Land, finds Israel Finch and Tommy Basca in the girls' locker room preparing to do something to Davy's girlfriend, Dolly. Davy, who is Reuben's older brother, got wind of this and was furious! He was not satisfied to hear that his father had given the two boys a "mere thrashing" (Enger, 25). After a few nights and a few confrontations, Israel and Tommy break not the Land house. Davy has been waiting to give them a proper punishment for their sins and tonite was the night. Israel and Tommy died that night by the hand of, not God, but Davy. At this time, Davy goes to jail and eventually escapes before sentencing. He thought by escaping jail he would obtain freedom, but he soon discovered that a life on the run was a prison in-and-of itself. Leif Enger used a very powerful, very constant style of writing throughout the book. He took words that are used everyday and used them in a new, refreshing, and descriptive way. "Yet her declaration rang true- I could almost see the great doomed author, pale as birch, wafting around his midnight kitchen" (Enger 153). Enger has a way of painting images in his readers' minds that make the book easy and enjoyable to read.
Enger, Leif. Peace Like a River. New York: Gove/Atlantic Inc., 2001.