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Final Reflections on Peace Like a River October 24, 2006

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

I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so here are some discussion questions I’ve gathered from various sources.  Feel free to use them as a guide when giving your parting thoughts regarding this novel!  And, of course, feel free to ignore these and just talk about what you enjoyed or didn’t like about the book!  Thanks to all of you for participating in the comments throughout the month!  It’s great to be able to hear different perspectives and to have things pointed out that others might have missed.  You’ve got a week to wrap this up, and then it’s on to The Poisonwood Bible.  All right, here goes:

1.  Finishing his story, Reuben notes: “You should know that Jape Waltzer proved as uncatchable as Swede’s own Valdez.”  What do the characters of Jape and Valdez represent in this novel?  Compare and contrast Peace Like a River with the traditional morality play – the symbolic drama based on the eternal struggle between Good and Evil.  How does the ending of this novel fit into this eternal conflict?

2.  Prayer is described in many ways and on many occasions in Peace Like a River.  How does prayer function in the novel for each of the characters?  How does it change for some of them over time?  Discuss the impact prayer has on Reuben, and how it transforms him.

3.  Consider the details of the double homicide committed by Davy.  Does Reuben see Davy as a murderer, or as one who acted in self-defense?  Does he want Davy brought to justice, or does he think justice has already been served?  What about the other main characters; how do they feel?  And what about you, the reader?  How was your impression of Davy influenced by his actions?  Discuss how the novel explores the idea of loyalty.

4.  Discuss the themes of perseverance, acceptance, loss, love, and faith.

5.  Peace Like a River contains a variety of landscapes.  How do they enrich the story and interact with the characters’ lives?

6.  Discuss the meaning and nature of family, as portrayed in Peace Like a River.

7.  Discuss the character of Jeremiah Land.  What is the center of his moral compass?  What are his strengths as a person and a parent?  What are his weaknesses?

8.  Swede is a remarkably clever, honest girl in an all-male family.  How does Enger make her character so sharp and alive?  How does being motherless affect her life?  And how, at times, does she seem like a matriarch?

9.  What do the dark characters of Jape Waltzer and Valdez symbolize in the novel?  Do you wish that Davy’s situation would have had closure?  Why do you think Enger ended the novel this way?  Would you have concluded the story differently?  How and why?

10.  What sections of the story were most enjoyable to read and ponder?

11.  The law versus family loyalty is a theme that runs throughout the story.  Recalling the circumstances of the intruders’ deaths, can you justify the actions of Davy?  Discuss the various ways in which each member of the Land family feels about Davy.

12.  How does the saga of Sunny Sundown, as written by Swede, comment on or parallel the adventures of the Land family?  What purpose does Swede’s epic poem about the cowboy serve in revealing characters or plot?

13.  Consider some of the Biblical allusions present in the novel.  How do they enrich the story?  How do they relate to the Land family story?  How do they lead the family into and through their experiences at home and their adventures on the road?

14.  The miracles performed by Jeremiah, or at least those witnessed by Reuben, seem to decrease in number over the course of the book.  Reuben says that since arriving at Roxanna’s house, there had been “no miracles whatever.”  What is the significance of this in terms of the narrative?  Is it true, or perhaps only a matter of witnessing?

15.  Reuben often has to make an effort to breathe.  How does this serve as a metaphor in the novel?  Can you give examples of where breathing takes on special meaning in the narrative?

16.  How does the novel’s title relate to the story?

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Another Interesting Interview with Enger October 21, 2006

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

I don’t think this interview has been referenced yet; it gives some of his history as a writer as well as some hints at what he’s working on next.

Peace Like a River: (23) The Curious Music That I Hear October 19, 2006

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

The Grand Finale!

Peace Like a River: (21 & 22) The Red Farm & Be Jubilant, My Feet October 18, 2006

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

We’ll be commenting on Chapters 21 and 22 here.

Peace Like a River: (19 & 20) Boy Ready and The Ledger of Our Decisions October 16, 2006

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

We’ll discuss Chapters 19 & 20 here!

Peace Like a River: (17 & 18) The Little Man’s Country, Winning Her Hand October 14, 2006

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

Leave your comments for Chapters 17 & 18 here!

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.
19 comments

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

Peace Like A River: (13 & 14 ) Something Warm & The Skin Bag October 9, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
13 comments

Here we will discuss Peace Like A River Chapters 13 and 14.  Check out the comments for the discussion.

Peace Like A River: (11&12) The Last Thing He Would Do & At War With This Whole World October 6, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
15 comments

Here is where we will discuss chapters 11 & 12

Peace Like A River: (9&10) By the Grace of Lurvy & The Substance of Thing Hoped For October 5, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
14 comments

Here we will discuss chapters 9and 10

Peace Like A River: (7&8) Late in the Night When The Fires Are Out and A Boy On A Horse October 3, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
12 comments

Here we will discuss chapters 7 and 8

Peace Like A River: (5&6) Peeking At Eternity and When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll October 2, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
13 comments

Here we will discuss chapters 5 and 6

Peace Like A River: (3&4) Beauteous Are My Cakes Indeed and Your Toughened Heart October 2, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
19 comments

Here we will discuss chapters 3 and 4 of Peace Like A River.

Peace Like A River: (1&2) Clay and His Separate Shadow October 1, 2006

Posted by Han in Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
17 comments

We will discuss chapters 1 and 2, Clay and His Separate Shadow Here.

Peace Like A River: Starts Sunday September 27, 2006

Posted by Han in Book Circle Set Up, Book Club Books, Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
5 comments

Just a reminder if you haven’t already picked up the next book to do so this weekend. We will start reading and discussing Peace Like A River on Sunday!!

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