In a way, this book reminds me of the style of Garrison Keillor and the Prairie Home Companion. I might be totally wrong in this, but it’s just the feel I get from the book.  The pictures Leif Enger paints are wonderful, especially to someone that grew up around these times (early 1960’s). Even though I don’t regret growing up in Florida, this book touches a side of me that would still like to live in the prairie (or mountain) sections of the country, get up in the morning and go for a ride on a horse, enjoy the wildlife that intersects your path, etc. It’s a lifestyle that has a definite draw for me.

One of the things I really love about this book are the descriptions of the relationships between the kids in the family. The book is told from the perspective of the middle child, Reuben, a 12 year old son. I can so identify with this character. In fact, I found myself envious of the relationship he had with his older brother. Even though I have two older brothers, I never felt close to them growing up. Just a fact of being six and seven years apart. And his relationship with his younger sister is funny. She is the smarter one, but not in an arrogant manner.

The father is someone I would really aspire to be like. Very dedicated to God, prayer, and Bible study. Whenever the father was stressed, you always found him at the kitchen table, reading the Bible or talking with God. I am really envious of that relationship. All too often, I let the day-to-day things of this world to invade that relationship.

I really don’t want to discuss the plot of the book too much for fear of ruining it for you. If you’re looking for a book to read around the fire this coming Christmas season, I can’t recommend this book more highly. The mental pictures painted by the author are truly enjoyable and heartwarming.

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