Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
I'd had this book recommended to me from several directions--Christian readers, non-Christian readers, people who just loved the story and writers who thought it was a brilliant book. So when I saw a copy lying around in a used book stall (very nice condition paperback for very, very cheap), I picked it up and brought it home.
I'm thinking now I would have paid full price for a hardback copy. It's that good (hardback books still say "need or luxury" to me).
The voice, that of Reuben Land is rough and eloquent and frank, a man looking back on his boyhood.
From my first breath in this world, all I wanted was a good set of lungs and the air to fill them with--given circumstance, you might presume, for an American baby of the twentieth century.
This is a story of miracles; a story of the American Midwest in the middle of last century; the story of a family, an outlaw, a determined lawman; a tragedy and a gift; the story of the inescapable losses of life, the unfairness and frustration; a story of unquenchable joy; a story about doing good to your enemies, and what happens after.
That tells you nothing, really, and that's perhaps as it should be. I'll leave you with Reuben's challenge: No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here's what I saw. Here's how it went. Make of it what you will.
Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, by R. J. Anderson
A sharp, unsentimental (but far from unlovely) take on faeries. I adored Knife for her adventuresome spirit, her curiosity, and her courage. The story works well--full of surprises, exacting details, moments of wonder, moments of danger and action, and love of all sorts, including but not limited to a budding romance.
I am particularly fond of a couple of the twists on traditional fairy lore (changelings, what fairies are, how they relate to the human world).
(A quick personal note and SPOILER: I had my own first kiss a few weeks before reading this book, and was inordinately pleased that the description of a first kiss here was so close to my own experience. *g*)
Definitely a recommended read for all ages, though there are brief mentions of a topic or two that are realistic but quite grown-up for the supposed age group this book was published for.
rj_anderson, I can't wait for book 2. :)