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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Northwest Corner by John Burnham Schwartz

Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1400068452
Pages:304 pages
Genre: Fiction  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

The New York Times Book Review called Reservation Road “a triumph,” and the novel was universally acclaimed. Now, in a brilliant literary performance by one of our most compelling and compassionate writers, John Burnham Schwartz reintroduces us to Reservation Road’s unforgettable characters in a superb new work of fiction that stands magnificently on its own. Northwest Corner is a riveting story about the complex, fierce, ultimately inspiring resilience of families in the face of life’s most difficult and unexpected challenges.

Twelve years after a tragic accident and a cover-up that led to prison time, Dwight Arno, now fifty, is a man who has started over without exactly moving on. Living alone in California, haunted yet keeping his head down, Dwight manages a sporting goods store and dates a woman to whom he hasn’t revealed the truth about his past. Then an unexpected arrival throws his carefully neutralized life into turmoil and exposes all that he’s hidden.

Sam, Dwight’s estranged college-age son, has shown up without warning, fleeing a devastating incident in his own life. In its way, Sam’s sense of guilt is as crushing as his father’s. As the two men are forced to confront their similar natures and their half-buried hopes for connection, they must also search for redemption and love. In turn, they dramatically transform the lives of the women around them: the ex-wives, mothers, and lovers they have turned to in their desperate attempts to somehow rewrite, outrun, or eradicate the past.

Told in the resonant voices of everyday people gripped in the emotional riptide of lived life, Northwest Corner is at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds that can never be broken and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.

My Review:  

Reservation Road is one of those books that I have always wanted to read. It’s on my eternal TBR. Yes, I have one of them and it never seems to shrink.

I don’t think I have ever come into contact with characters so destroyed and dysfunctional. But yet, even in their sadness, I still liked them and found their stories completely compelling. I love how this book focused so much on the characters’ emotions. I’ve never read a book that was so focused on the emotions and not the story while still maintaining a completely interesting plot.

I usually don’t like to jump into a book with a sequel. I feel lost and out of place. And while I did enjoy this book, I did feel that confusion with this one. I had no idea what happened with the previous book and it kind of distracted me with this one. I was missing whole bunches of backstory that I could definitely survive without but I really didn’t want to.

I definitely think I need to do a reread when I finally read Reservation Road. I spent most of this book trying to figure out what happened in the last book so a reading Reservation Road is necessary. But, strangely, the confusion did not stop me from loving this book. It made me want to know more.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I'm also not a huge fan of starting in the middle of a series - that is why there are so many new YA books that are on my TBR list but probably wont be read any time soon - I just haven't gotten around to reading the previous books.

  2. I'm glad that you were able to like the characters in spite of all their issues. This sounds like an amazing read!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.



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