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Peace Like a River: (15&16) Under the Gibbon Moon, The Throbbing Heart of News October 11, 2006

Posted by heatherelle in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.

(Yes, Bethany, your computer-illiterate big sister figured out how to write a post! ha ha!) Leave your comments for Chapters 15 & 16 here!


1. bethany3boys - October 11, 2006

I knew you could do it!!!!

2. bethany3boys - October 11, 2006

I was wondering about the title Under the Gibbon Moon then when I got to the part about Swede calling the moon the Gibbon Moon I laughed my fanny off.

3. bethany3boys - October 12, 2006

I can’t believe that Martin Andreeson showed back up!!! Although after reading the Throbbing Heart of News chapter I see why…the whole tracking the car thing.

I love the names they give him putrid and king of pukes. HEE HEE.

“Went to show that anyone could deliver good news, including a person like Martin Andreeson, even if he wasn’t doing so purposefully, and even if he was the king of pukes in most respects.”

4. bethany3boys - October 12, 2006

I loved how Reuben describes Davy seeing him again the first time. His writing is soooo perfectly descriptive.

“Over his jaw lay a whiskery scrub that erased the boy I might’ve expected; when I looked at his face I felt dizzy and fearful, for it was Davy’s face and yet another’s also”

Wow that desciption is so loaded and so vivid!!!

5. bethany3boys - October 12, 2006

I also really liked Reuben’s quote on page 217.

“Led? This was supposed to mean the Lord was in charge and paving your way, such as letting you get fired so you’ll be free to leave town, or sending you an Airstream so you can go in comfort. Dad knew something about being led, I realized, yet this I could not buy. ‘Led by who? That barf Mr. Andreeson?'”

I love how Reuben descibes being Led by God in a way that associates it with the good things he has gone through. I remember in the book when his Dad got fired he wasn’t so happy but looking back on it now he sees God was paving the way for them to leave town. Funny how following God and trusting Him hindsight looks so easy yet when we are faced with a path that doesn’t look promising in our own eyes we buck and don’t trust God and His leading. I am guilty.

I just realized I am the only one commenting on these chapters…comment hog me.  Come on I know some of you have finished.  HEE HEE 😉

6. Ashleigh - October 12, 2006

I thought it was interesting how Mr. Andreeson approached Mr. Land believing he could supernaturally track Davy down. On one hand, it shows how those who don’t understand faith and being led by the Lord can misinterpret or incorrectly define what that means. And in this case associate it with “psychic” abilities. On the other hand, Mr. Andreeson wasn’t that off base. Look at how God had already guided the Lands to Roxanna’s which was right near Davy’s hiding place.

Okay, did anyone else find the story about Jonas Work doing sit ups after he was dead strangely funny. It was just so absurd I didn’t know what to do except laugh!

7. anneswanson3 - October 13, 2006

Does Mr. Andreeson remind any one else of Mr. Anderson from the Matrix…not that he was described like the character in Matrix, but the way his name was said in the movie..
“Mr. Andreeeeeeeeeeeeeson.”
Maybe its just me?

8. anneswanson3 - October 13, 2006

“the king of pukes”….I love that line too Bethany! 🙂

9. anneswanson3 - October 13, 2006

I had to laugh too…

“I imagined him coming throught the front door, all tired out, “Honey, ” he’d have said, ” what do you suppose Jonas is doing out there?” Eight to ten hours. Boy that is an awful lot of sit-ups.”
p. 222


10. anneswanson3 - October 13, 2006

It is interesting in the sequence of events, how things seem so wrong, not played out right, definately not what we had hoped for or planned but down the road see how it worked out…for good or bad.

11. Bethany - October 13, 2006

Add me to the list that has finished the book early….I LOVED IT!!!

12. heather - October 14, 2006

Anne, You are so right about the Matrix thing! Whenever Andreeson shows up I picture him in shades and a suit! I was so mad the putrid fed showed up to spoil their picnic! I loved Reuben’s assessment: “He always acted like he was your favorite uncle visiting from India — boy was it aggravating.” p. 201

Ashleigh, It’s interesting how some people are willing to acknowledge and take advantage of someone’s supernatural gift, even when they aren’t willing to acknowledge or consider its source. To Andreeson, Jeremiah just has “access to something large”, and he equates it with the supposed psychic ability of the little girl in finding her sister. To Andreeson, it’s all the same. But Jeremiah knows the truth “It isn’t faith you’re speaking of. It’s something else, foolishness or spookism.” p. 203 Yet you’re right, Andreeson isn’t that far off base asking for Jeremiah’s help, because God has led them right to Davy’s doorstep!

Bethany, I was trying to figure out if Reuben had just misunderstood Swede’s name for the moon (Thinking she said Gibbon instead of Gibbous), or if it was just our imaginative Swede, playing with the word! Because a gibbous moon does look oval! I also loved the quote you included about being led, and how he has been able to look back and see the goodness of God in all those situations that seemed so horrible. (Rom. 8:28)

13. heather - October 14, 2006

That amazing description of the burning lignite seam on pages 198-199 made me google it to see if it was a real occurence! I’ve heard of the North Dakota Badlands, but had never studied it in detail. Has anyone ever been there? It sounds like amazing topography! My limited research indicated that there is record of some seams burning for years, including one which burned for a century.

14. heather - October 14, 2006

Bethany, I loved that quote you mentioned about Reuben’s description of Davy. I love how, a few paragraphs later, when they’ve reached a safe place, Reuben says “…and then he did grab hold of me like I was his little brother for real, and I hugged him back, clenching all muscles so he’d notice how strong I’d become.” p. 209

I thought this passage was beautifully worded: “My breathing turned thick; a featherpillow ruptured inside. Dad came to mind, and miracles, and I shut my eyes and prayed that when we came round the hillside he would by divine leading be standing there waiting for us, his face primed with wisdom and responsibility. I believed in this picture as hard as possible, given the short time and Fry’s jerky gait. Oh, if it could happen in this way, I’d run home atop the softest snow, so quick would be my feet; I’d shout the whole way there, so regenerate my lungs.” p. 213

You really get a sense of the burden Reuben has just put on, with his swearing to secrecy about Davy. He wants more than anything for his Dad to be in on the secret, because it’s a weight he’s not sure he’s up to bearing: “So I was a ratfink, after all; no doubt this was a finklike threat. Yet who was I to bear sole knowledge of my brother’s whereabouts? Did I ever claim to be Mr. Atlas, or anybody close?” p. 214

I loved that quote “exclusivity is the throbbing heart of news” … “we swelled up large with privileged facts.” p. 220 Isn’t that the truth? I was thinking about when I get some little tidbit of news about someone (someone’s pregnant, someone’s engaged, someone’s moving) and I excitedly call Bethany to tell her, only to find out she already knows! Man, talk about being deflated! (Now I just call her and ask her if she knows anything new going on her, since most of the time she knows before I do! Ha ha!)

15. Bethany - October 14, 2006

Sorry about the news thing Heather…what can I say I am in the right place at the right time. HEE HEE. Speaking of…you better call me I have some new news for ya…NO I AM NOT PREGNANT…something else.

16. Karen - October 16, 2006

Jonas Work and the sit-ups…Wierd!
I was so impressed with Jeremiah. He is so kind and conciliatory with Andreeson. He never slanders, gossips, lies. He is such a picture of Christ and a silent, innocent lamb to the slaughter. I want to get angry w/ him. Shake him. Tell him to wake up and face reality. The work is so well written. If the guy’s name had been Anderson he would have been more likable but saying “Andreeson” gives the name a weasely, skreechy kind of sound.

17. Ashleigh - October 16, 2006

It’s funny, for the most part we all dislike Mr. Andreeson. Probably because we are seeing him through Reuben’s eyes and it’s no secret how Reuben feels about him. I thought it was interesting (I don’t remember what chapter this was in since I don’t have the book right in front of me — so hopefully I’m not jumping ahead and spoiling anything for anyone) how Jeremiah spent an entire night wrestling with God over whether to help Mr. Andreeson. In the end, Jeremiah did agree to help him.

It’s easy to forgot that Mr. Andreeson, as dislikable as he is, is simply doing his job. Davy shot the boys, admitted to it, and escaped from jail. To Mr. Andreeson, Davy is like any other person running from the law. Anyway, I think Enger does a superb job of helping us see Mr. Andreeson through Reuben’s eyes.

18. heather - October 16, 2006

Ashleigh, You’re right about the wonderful job Enger does of showing us the various characters through Reuben’s eyes. I found my opinion about particular characters changing as Reuben’s opinion changed, but not usually before! He definitely had my sympathies!

19. Bethany - October 17, 2006

Reuben had my sympathies too. I didn’t feel sorry for Mr. Andreeson until Reuben did.

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