Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

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What role do miracles serve in the novel? Examples of miracles?

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There are several examples of miracles that happen throughout the story. The first miracle that takes place in this novel is when Reuben’s father Jeremiah saves him. He was born not breathing and his father brought him back to life after twelve whole minutes. In another, less eventful moment, the family is celebrating Swede’s ninth birthday. Jeremiah’s friend, Lurvy joins them and rudely eats all the soup. However, somehow the soup never runs out. Later on Davy escapes from jail. It is not made clear if this is a miracle or the work of genius. In another scenario the family is running from the police for their failure to help the police in finding Davy. They don’t stop at any of the gas stations that are manned by police. They somehow manage to never run out of gas. In the final scenes of the book there is a shooting and Reuben has a vision of himself in a field where he sees Jeremiah one last time.

Miracles propel the lengthy and wandering plot forward. Structured somewhat like...

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