Let's face it - I'm in a reading slump! The last two books I've read have been mediocre at best, and I'm not even sure I'd go so far as to say that Peace Like a River was even that good! I will admit that it started out strong, with a murder of two young boys within the first few pages, but it quickly took a nose-dive.
Peace Like a River was a selection made by the book club I'm in at church. The story is told by a young boy named Reuben. Reuben has two siblings - a young sister named Swede and an older brother named Davie. The story basically begins with Davie's girlfriend getting attacked in her high school locker room by these two unruly boys. Davie's father, the school janitor, hears the girl's shrieks and comes running. Davie's father hits or threatens them (I cannot remember which), but it angers the unruly boys so much that they vow to get him back. A short time later, these boys kidnap Swede from her house, but is quickly recovered by the family. Now that the boys have hurt two people who are close to Davie, Davie is determined to put these boys in their place. Again, a short time after Swede's kidnapping, the boys return to Davie's house in the middle of the night, but this time Davie shows them who is boss - he shoots and kills them both! So at this point in the book, I was pretty enthralled! It sounded like the making for a good legal battle...
Davie is naturally put on trial for the murder of these two boys, and the jury seems to sway between their sympathy for Davie's situation and that of the family members of the two boys. I guess Davie sensed that he wasn't going to win the trial, so he breaks out of jail. This is pretty much where the story starts to go down hill. The bulk of the book is spent talking about how the family goes west in search of Davie. The ending does pick up a little with an unexpected romance between Davie's father and a woman they meet along the way, as well as Reuben's secret meetings with Davie.
When we discussed the book at the meeting, all but 1 of the ladies said they would NOT recommend this book to their friends! So - I shall not bore you with any more details :).
My next book, which I am nearly done with at this point, is Last Kiss - an AllYou magazine book club read! I'll be giving my review on that within the next day or so - as of right now it's not a slam-dunk winner, but a vast improvement over these last two reads. Stay tuned!
2 days ago