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Northwest Corner
John Burnham Schwartz
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Northwest Corner

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  566 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
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 Cor ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Random House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I did a quick second reading of Reservation Road prior to reading Northwest Corner. While it's not strictly necessary, I do recommend doing so if you have the time and inclination. It really enhanced my enjoyment of Northwest Corner to have the characters fresh in my mind and compare the past with the present.

When we last saw Sam Arno in Reservation Road, he was a sleepy boy of ten, asking his dad if they could go sledding later. He hadn't a clue that his life would change forever on that day.
May 22, 2011 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2011
Over 12 years ago, John Burnham Schwartz introduced us to two ordinary families facing an extraordinary crisis – the inadvertent death of a young boy, Josh Lerner, by a hit-and-run driver, a small-town lawyer named Dwight Arno. The book was Reservation Road, a wrenching psychological study about how a single moment in time can shatter an orderly world into tiny little shards.

Now, in a poignantly written sequel, Mr. Schwartz revisits the two families – the Arnos and the Lerners – years later, at
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Northwest Corner revisits the characters from John Burnham Schwartz's earlier novel, Reservation Road, twelve years on. Whilst this offers readers of that book a chance to find out what has changed and developed for the characters, equally I don't think it's necessary to have read that book to enjoy and get a lot out of this one. However, if you are intending to read Reservation Road first, the review below may 'spoil' it, so please bear this in mind.

It's 2006, and Dwight Arno is working as a ma
Dec 16, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok
I am having a hard time figuring out why I finished this book, given how frustrated I was with it, but there must have been something compelling, because I kept reading. I think despite its flaws, the story and characters were interesting, even if the story wasn't told well and the characters didn't often make sense. There were a few main things I did not like: 1)the short chapters and constant changes in point of view completely interrupted the flow of the story (the only saving grace was that ...more
May 14, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
"Northwest Corner" by John Burnham Schwartz is a novel that picks up more than ten years after "Reservation Road" ends. This time, Sam Arno and Emma Learner are all grown up and still dealing with the turmoil that their parents lived through since the death of Emma's brother Josh. Dwight is now in California, trying to make a life for himself. Ruth is battling cancer, Grace is trying to get her business back together, and the children are attending college. It is only after a seemingly random ba ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Irene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-a-copy, arc
After I finished Reservation Road , countless questions lingered amid disparate emotions coupled not only with the painful narrative which continued to haunt me, but also the enduring legacy foisted upon the memorable characters of Dwight, Sam, and Ruth of the Arno family pitted against Ethan, Grace, and Emma Lerner begging to be explored.

Twelve years later, Northwest Corner spiritedly revisits Dwight Arno, outwardly transformed and contrite, vaguely expectant in his new West Coast surroundi
Aug 21, 2011 Staci rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book Tours
First Thoughts after finishing this book: "I'm keeping this book...I want to read it again!"

Writing that really touched my core because sometimes I feel this way about my oldest son:

He looks up at me. "Do you hate yourself?"
My mouth is dry. Carefully, I sit on the edge of his bed.
"Some days. Other days are better."
He nods as if he understands, which makes me sadder than anything he could have said.
He is my son. He's within reach now. Soon, I think, I will try to touch him, but not just yet.
Sep 25, 2015 Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. Each chapter tells the story through another protagonist, shifting from first-person narrator to third-person narrator. Schwartz's writing is on the point precise, capturing deep emotions with beautiful metaphors. The book is immenseley sad and beautiful at the same time. A coming-of-age story as well as a story about family, life and death. Highly recommended.
Jeremiah Spivey
May 17, 2015 Jeremiah Spivey rated it really liked it
This is a story of a family finding it self again.

We pick up 12-years-after the events of Reservation Road and time has not been incredibly kind to the Arno and Lerner families.

Sam is involved in a horrific act of violence and feels himself becoming too much of like his father. Dwight has served time in prison and has not spoken to his family in more than a decade. Ruth has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is left to raise a son alone. And Emma Lerner has grown up "in the shadow of a shadow
Pamela Brucker
Jun 28, 2015 Pamela Brucker rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
While I enjoyed this book, the sequel to Reservation Road, the ending left me wondering what the hell just happened. There are characters in the book, such as Penny and her daughter, that have no purpose except to set up another book. Is there another book with these characters coming? If not, it appears the author just gave up and didn't feel like writing any more. While there are hints of the characters' backgrounds, specifically Dwight's abusive father, I didn't feel that I know any more abou ...more
Oct 28, 2011 theda rated it really liked it
I really liked it but only discovered after I had finished it that it is a sequel to Reservation Road. Hmmm. How did I miss that?
switterbug (Betsey)
This novel is a literary blessing for fans of Reservation Road who felt that Schwartz wasn't "finished" with the Arno family, that he had more to say and a penetrating way of saying it. This is a follow-up to the Arno and Learner families, twelve years after a hit-and-run tragedy that shredded two families to fractious pieces. At the time of the incident, Dwight and Ruth Arno (the centerpiece family) were already divorced, and this just annihilated any redemptive force from taking shape between ...more
Carla JFCL
Jul 10, 2011 Carla JFCL rated it really liked it
This is an extraordinarily powerful book, in my favorite genre: “dysfunctional family novel.”

It’s a well-written book, and also an extremely fast read, owing to the fact that it’s broken into dozens of short “chapters,” each of which is a portion of the story told from the point of view of one of its (approximately a half dozen) characters. One of the characters (Dwight) tells the tale from his point of view; the other characters’ observations are written in third person. The author is extremel
John Luiz
Mar 19, 2012 John Luiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent sequel to Reservation Road in which a man, Dwight Arno, accidentally kills a young boy with his car and then drives away from the accident only to be found months later by the boys father. In the sequel Dwight has served his time in jail and and working in a sporting goods store in California, completely estranged from his family in Connecticut. His son, Sam, now a UConn baseball star may be reliving his father's mistake. To protect himself from a brutal assault in a bar he hits hi ...more
Larry Hoffer
Aug 06, 2011 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing
In his magnificent book, Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz traced the lives of two families, the Arnos and the Learners, affected by tragedy and a subsequent cover-up. It has been 13 years since that book was published, and 12 years have passed in the lives of the Arnos and the Learners.

Dwight Arno has rebuilt his life after a stint in prison, and settled in California, far from the Connecticut neighborhood where he lived when he was married. His existence is rather austere—a job managing
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Aug 04, 2011 Lori L (She Treads Softly) rated it it was amazing
Northwest Corner by John Burnham Schwartz continues the story from his novel Reservation Road. Dwight Arno is now fifty years old and out of prison. He is now living in California and is the manager of a sporting goods store. Dwight is surprised by an unexpected visitor, his estranged son, Sam. Sam has left college in Connecticut and is running from something he has done. Northwest Corner examines the lives of ordinary men and woman who are all damaged in some way and are all searching for meani ...more
Aug 19, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
If life could be divided into "before and after," this sequel to the dramatic Reservation Road could be classified as After. Twelve years after the devastating events that took the life of the young Learner boy and shattered two families, Dwight Arno has started over. After prison. After losing everything about the life he once had.

We see him again in Santa Barbara, CA, working in a sporting goods store, living in a rented home, and walking through his days as if he is an automaton. There seems
Jul 12, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it
Northwest Corner is a follow up novel to Reservation Road (1998); it was also made into a movie. In the earlier novel Dwight Arno was an attorney in Connecticut who was involved in a fatal hit and run accident which resulted in the death of 10 year-old Josh Learner. The boy a second grader was the classmate of Dwight's son Sam.

In this follow-up novel it is now 2006 and some 12 years have passed since the horrible accident. Since that time Dwight has spent 2.5 years in prison, is divorced and now
Aug 24, 2012 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the story did give all the emotional tapestry of Dwight and Sam, it did not evoke a concern for them that perhaps the author may have wanted. The true value of any writing, however, is whether the characters seem real. Unfortunately, they did in all their twisted ways of thinking.

The fact that the catalyst for Dwight was an accident makes the rest of the story even more instructive. I think the author did a very good job of relating the ways that the characters would have thought and felt

Kasa Cotugno
Jul 06, 2011 Kasa Cotugno rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Twelve years ago the lives of two families were shattered by a horrifying accident, recounted beautifully in an earlier novel, titled "Reservation Road." That book was told primarily in two first person voices by Etahn and Dwight, the fathers in those families. Presenting that devastating event and its immediate consequences"Reservation Road" was multilayered, complex, like its characters.

"Northwest Corner" takes up with the characters 12 years later, presenting the continued aftermath of that n
Jan 03, 2012 Sandie rated it it was ok
This is my first venture into John Burnham Schwartz territory and the terrain is rocky. It is a land of frustrated dreams, unbearable loss, harrowing memories and underlying slow-burning anger that erupts in violence. The NORTHWEST CORNER is related by a half dozen different characters via relatively short chapters. The story chronicles events, both past and present, with each character imparting their own feelings and perceptions of the circumstances that have brought them to where they are in ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Although Northwest Corner continues the stories of the characters from a first book, Reservation Road, the book stands easily stands alone as a novel (I have not read the first book). The main character in this book (I think it's Sam, even though Dwight is the only character narrated in first person) repeats the history of his father (accidentally commits a serious crime, then flees from the scene), reaches a point of deep despair, but in the end is redeemed as much as will be possible for him. ...more
Jul 22, 2014 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, for-review
Someone please tell me there's going to be another one of these? I'm not sure how feasible it is but I want to see what happens next.

I actually couldn't see how a sequel could be written for Reservation Road prior to reading Northwest Corner, but it was done pretty well. You probably don't need to have read Reservation Road to be able to enjoy Northwest Corner, the background which effects the plot of Northwest Corner is explained, however I think that it does mean that you can more easily under
J.M. Cornwell
Oct 12, 2011 J.M. Cornwell rated it liked it
Dwight is a manger of a sporting goods store in California, far from the scene of a fatal accident. After twelve years of prison and losing his family and position, he is still running, living a half-life that is respectable but nothing compared to what he had before the accident that changed his life.

His son Sam is in college and is running from his own mistake. Sam runs to his father in California in hopes he can outdistance the trouble and that Dwight will help him out. Things are about to ge
Holly Weiss
In this powerful sequel to Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz revisits the Arno and Learner families in another psychological study of the effects of grief, guilt, anger and disconnection on the human spirit.

Dwight Arno has made a fresh start in Santa Barbara, California as a fifty-year old sporting goods store manager. No one in his present knows about the hit-and-run death of Josh Leaner twelve years ago, which shattered his family. His son, Sam, now a twenty-two-year old baseball star,
Holly Weiss
Jul 25, 2011 Holly Weiss rated it liked it
In this powerful sequel to Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz revisits the Arno and Learner families in another psychological study of the effects of grief, guilt, anger and disconnection on the human spirit.

Dwight Arno has made a fresh start in Santa Barbara, California as a fifty-year old sporting goods store manager. No one in his present knows about the hit-and-run death of Josh Leaner twelve years ago, which shattered his family. His son, Sam, now a twenty-two-year old baseball star,
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Northwest Corner by Jonathon Burnham Schwartz flows like a river. It has deep eddies, grade four rapids and places where the water is so clear that it's like looking in a mirror; places were a reader can rest and catch their breath. It reads as langorously as a William Stafford poem and there is even a nod to Stafford in the book.

Northwest Corner is a sequel to Reservation Road, taking place twelve years after Reservation Road ends. Dwight is working in a sporting goods store in Santa Barbara an
Aug 13, 2011 Gaby rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
You don't need to have read or watched Reservation Road to appreciate the characters, their dilemmas or the writing in Northwest Corner. Schwartz captures the complexity, heaviness, and hopelessness so well.

* Dwight Arno at fifty. He's been released from prison and built a new life on the other side of the country, surrounded by people that don't know his past. Only his employer knows about his record and it has never been an issue at the sporting goods store where he works. His old life as a c
Tracy Terry
Oct 23, 2012 Tracy Terry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A story of relationships, of the power of family ties. Sounds good? So why then was I so strangely unmoved by what was billed as an 'at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds'?

Sadly not a novel that I enjoyed. Too fragmented; I found the story which, chapter by chapter, was narrated by one of several characters disjointed, the fact that the chapters were so short and snappy making it seem even more so.

Though without a doubt beautifully written, it was too 'flo
Gloria Bernal
Oct 08, 2011 Gloria Bernal rated it liked it
Moves along at a snails pace...

...realistically so does grief, guilt, despair and depression. If that's what you want to read about, then you've come to the right place. One cannot rate such a talented writer as Schwartz less than 3 stars for any of his work, but I was tempted with this one. He can put words to feelings that most of us don't even recognize or can't begin to describe, and seems to do so effortlessly. I was excited to start this after loving Reservation Road, but this work, howeve
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John Burnham Schwartz grew up in New York City. At Harvard College, he majored in Japanese studies, and upon graduation accepted a position with a prominent Wall Street investment bank, before finally turning the position down after selling his first novel. Schwartz has taught fiction writing at Harvard, The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Sarah Lawrence College, and he is the literary d ...more
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