First, a confession: I did not finish Peterson’s The Jesus Way. So, that will be next month’s choice. If you are like me and didn’t get it done, you still have time. It’s a good one.
This month’s read then was Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young, and Handsome. As I’ve said, I held eager anticipation for this book. Enger’s Peace Like a River would probably land on my top ten novel list. It was stunning, simple, imaginative, earth. Amazing prose. Vivid characters. And a line here and there that truly stopped me cold.
So Brave, Young, and Handsome was a fine story. For me, not meteoric like Enger’s first, but still, pretty fantastic. Enger has a way of catching a dialect – and sticking with it consistently – that moves you into the world and the lives he has created.
There was a point in the book, perhaps midway, where the dialogue almost annoyed me; but I can’t say quite why. I think the narrative felt a bit too tidy for me at the moment – not enough grit. And somehow the smooth, folksy cadence of the language (mixed with my need for a little more bite) made it feel a tad sentimental. But I simply needed to hold on. Hood’s story was grit enough to go around – there was real tragedy to be found there. I also felt that Enger made a fabulous move in how he brought Glendon’s tale to a close. Enger could have chosen a different, easier path. But he didn’t. It seems he told the story the way it came, not the way we might want it to come. I respect that.
Two things I like about Enger (and these can actually be found in both of his novels):
|Winn is a writer and pastor. He is the author of Restless Faith and the recent release, Let God: The Transforming Wisdom of Francois Fenelon. Winn is married to his best friend Miska and has two rabble-rousing sons, Wyatt and Seth. You can find out more about Winn by downloading this interview or by hopping over to winncollier.com.|