Jodie's Reviews > Reservation Road

Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz
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Oct 08, 11

bookshelves: 2011, favourites
Read from October 06 to 08, 2011

I find it hard to put into words how I feel about this book. It is without a doubt one of the most moving portrayals of grief and love that I have ever read.

Imagine seeing your precious, irreplacable young son mowed down in front of you. Now imagine being the driver that did it. In our wildest musings we could not even come close to the guilt and sorrow this would throw down on our lives and everyone we meet from that second forward. This novel, written in the narratives of Ethan and Grace, who are the parents of Josh and Emma, and also Dwight, the driver, is just so close to perfection in showing us the fractures in our hearts and minds and marriages from just such a thing. The story really focuses on the two fathers, Ethan and Dwight. They both try really hard at being great dads, really hard, yet for Ethan it comes natural and for Dwight it is the biggest struggle in his life, his own father was no role model. There is a section in the book that had tears streaming down my face where Ethan's colleague is talking to him about what a great dad he was, how other kids wait for their fathers to just turn and listen and nod, and how he did it always not realising the acknowledgement he was giving, it was so touching.

And there is Grace, at times I felt so unsympathetic to her, I mean she still has Emma to care for and nurture. But the grief overwhelms her as does her resentment to Ethan and she falls into a great depression over the loss of her son whom she carried in her arms whilst she planted their garden. The author does a great job of showing how all these little things in their lives, the day to day things that before this accident never meant a thing, and now they seem to represent everything. For instance, Grace gets out of bed, her side is thoroughly dishevelled, yet Ethan has pulled the covers right up to the headboard, almost like he laid there and slept peacefully, and she hates him for it.

There is so much to love about this book, so many notes I could make but none of them can accurately portray how brilliant this novel is. I just loved it, all of it, even the ending.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Michelle Here here! The book is amazing. I still think about it months after reading it.


Jodie Yes it is so great, a favourite for sure. I am disappointed that the follow up seems to be lacking that same greatness.


Michelle Yeah, total let down. Not worth the effort. The first was amazing.


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