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Critical Praise

"An impressive debut, written with remarkable command and style . . . . Enger has created here some sort of uniquely American form of magical realism . . . . Peace Like a River introduces Enger as a writer of talent and a born storyteller, creating memorable characters in a voice uncommonly strong and assured."

——Elizabeth Marino, The Bloomsbury Review

"Enger has a fertile imagination, writes rich, chewy prose, and can pop a character into your imagination with just a few phrases."

——Charles Matthews, San Jose Mercury News

"Enger humorously captures the romance of the dime-store Western; the frontier is still open here. . . . The spare, frozen landscape is warmed by both wise and foolish characters whose mythic adventures are depicted in rich, naturalistic detail."

——Time Out New York

"It's dangerous work, writing about faith. To get it as right as Leif Enger does in his novel is nothing short of miraculous. What could be unbelievable becomes extraordinary in Enger's hands. . . . If words can bolster lapsed faith, if a story can sturdy a shaky foundation, then the flow of Enger's amazing new novel may bring more than a few of us to his promised peace."

——Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

"You don't see novels like this one very often. Peace Like a River reminds a reader of Kent Haruf's Plainsong or even Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It. It's got that pure American loss of innocence theme, that belief in and fascination with miracles, that insistence on the goodness of men outside of the law."

——Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Leif Enger . . . is a natural-born storyteller, and his novel moves in a current that can be poetic and slow or as tumultuous as whitewater rapids. This novel has the power to convince that, despite sorrow, human experience is a miracle of ordinary truth and extraordinary love."

——Michael Pearson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"If ever there was a time for a novel of faith and redemption a quiet book of old-fashioned verities this is it. Written in lyrical, openhearted prose, Peace Like a River even has a comforting, remarkable glimpse into the afterlife."

——Michael Giltz, New York Post

"Enger has written one of the year's best novels. . . . Once in a great while, a book comes along that has such wonderful characters and marvelous prose that you read it as much for the pure joy it offers on virtually every page as to find out how it ends. . . . It's not likely you'll read a better piece of fiction this year. . . . You'll be sorry if you miss it. . . . Go out and get a copy; savor it. This one is special."

——Tom Walker, The Denver Post

"Even if you believe only in stirring, heart-thumping storytelling and sentences that sing, this book will work for you. If you're a devotee of boys' adventure books bruised innocents confronting scoundrels round every bend all the better. But what allows Peace Like a River to transcend any limitations of belief and genre is its broad, sagacious humanity. . . . There is magic here, none more potent that Leif Enger's prose."

——Dan Cryer, Newsday

"This is a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt . . . a novel about faith, miracles, and family that is, ultimately, miraculous."

——Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Peace Like a River serves as a reminder of why we read fiction to begin with: to commune with a vividly, lovingly rendered world, to lose ourselves in story and language and beauty, to savor what we don't want to end yet know must."

——Andrew Roe, San Francisco Chronicle

"A rich mixture of adventure, tragedy, and healing," Peace Like a River is "a collage of legends from sources sacred and profane from the Old Testament to the Old West, from the Gospels to police dramas."

——Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor

"Not since Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain or Cormac McCarthy's Cities of the Plain have I been so engrossed in the reading of a book, and in a story told so beautifully. Peace Like a River is the loveliest of gifts, a truly great book, into which the reader can sink deliciously and completely. The characters fill the reader's days and nights; and in the reading of it, we cross over into amazing territory."

——Rick Bass