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By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Oct 30, 2003

CWN doesn't ordinarily do book reviews (yet). But I just finished reading a terrific novel, and I came away thinking: "Why hadn't anybody told me about this book?" So now I'm telling you.

Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, a thoroughly American novel published in 2001, which somehow escaped my notice until last week.

First of all, it's a rip-snorting good story. The plot involves death and injustice and a chase across the Badlands, and Enger's narrative tone and vivid imagery kept me turning the pages; this is not an easy book to put down. But as the plot unfolds, you realize that there's much more than merely a good story here. What looked at the outset like a straightforward Christian message turns out to be a much deeper meditation on the nature of faith and the character of the Church.

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