Adams County Reads One Book has returned! Join us in January of 2006 when we read "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Newsletter #1: Hello Adams County One Book Readers!

How exciting to be sharing another wonderful book together. By now you should have read the first five chapters (“Clay” through “Peeking at Eternity”) of our book Peace Like a River . If you haven’t don’t worry there’s time to catch up! This novel contains themes of family relationships, miracles, heroes, justice and the Old West. So partners, let’s head on out for our next adventure.

It’s a Miracle

The novel opens with the story of a miracle, and it will be the first of many to come. It is 1951 and Helen Land has just given birth to her son, Reuben. But Reuben’s lungs do not function and the doctor declares him dead. Reuben’s father, Jeremiah, refuses to believe this and commands the child to breathe…and Reuben obeys.

“I believe I was preserved, through those twelve airless minutes, in order to be a witness, and as a witness, let me say that a miracle is no cute thing but more like the swing of a sword.” And so our story begins.

A Rocky Road

It is now 11 years later, and Reuben is the narrator of our tale. He lives in North Dakota in the 1960s with Jeremiah, his older brother, Davy, and younger sister, Swede. You are immediately pulled into their lives and the opening chapters can leave you reeling…bullying, parental abandonment, abduction, and then, murder. It is a good place to take a break and think through some of what you’ve read.


Make of it What You Will

As Reuben tells of his father’s miracles, he often repeats “make of it what you will.” He describes what he sees and leaves the reader to decide whether we believe it happened. You don’t have to be religious to understand the nature of myths and miracles. In this book, however, these events are rooted in the characters’ Christian faith and you can readily identify the Biblical references to miracles such as the resurrection of Lazarus and the dividing of the loaves and fishes.

We will be examining that aspect of the book in one of our upcoming lectures: “Miracles, Myth, and Religion in Peace Like a River” by Gettysburg College professor Charles "Buz" Myers. The lecture will be at 7 p.m., Monday, February 13 in Joseph Theater, 201 Breidenbaugh Hall, Gettysburg College. For a complete listing of our events and book discussions, please visit www.gettysburg.edu/library/onebook/events.html or pick up a schedule at Musselman Library, any branch of the Adams County Library System or Gallery 30.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about miracles? Check out some of these web sites:



Mark Your Calendars!


The following events are free and open to the public:



Keep Reading! By Friday, February 3rd you should have read chapters 6-8: " When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll" through "A Boy on a Horse."

Thank you for subscribing to the Adams County Reads One Book email newsletter!

See you next week!

The One Book Collective*

*A local group of enthusiastic readers.

Sponsored by Gettysburg College and the Adams County Library System. For more information visit: http:/www.gettysburg.edu/library/onebook or call 337-6600.


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