When I found myself with a free copy of Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River ten years ago, I tried reading it, but hit a brick wall and placed it back on my shelf after the first few chapters. The down-home tale of a miracle worker father, a brother who kills two men, and a young boy with “swampy lungs” who narrates the story, was too much corn pone and hallelujah. With the murders, the whole family seems to become fugitives, but what would seem a compelling plot – was mired in depressing metaphors. So, I put the book back on the shelf.
Now a local book club has picked Enger’s book for discussion, so I thought I’d try again. I made it as far as the next miracle – the curing of the boils – and then decided again – the symbolism may be fodder for a book discussion – but not worth my groveling through the rest of the book.
Here is the New York Times review from 2001 – Miracle Worker – not very favorable. But, a movie with Billy Bob Thornton is in the works – maybe I’ll wait for that.