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Northwest Corner
John Burnham Schwartz
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Northwest Corner

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  623 Ratings  ·  157 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 18, 2011 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
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
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
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
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, have-a-copy
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
Larry H
Jul 31, 2011 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
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book Tours
Shelves: 2011-reads
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.
Dec 16, 2011 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
Apr 25, 2011 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
Sep 09, 2015 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.
Oct 25, 2011 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?
Jeff Weyer
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shortly after I met my wife, she was just starting to read "Reservation Road." We finished it together while on a road trip through the Grand Canyon area. One book I had never forgotten.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
So a dysfunctional family hits a bump then at the end of the book all goes well...blah blah blah.
Deidre Varnas
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read! Beautiful writing style and very captivating storyline.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and completely satisfying book. In this case the short chapters worked because they were chronological and continued the scene from different perspectives. Characters were completely formed and emotions were described in the most powerful and believable way. This is a book I could not wait to get to the next page but never wanted to finish. I will reread.

'Time seems viscous, the world ticking aloud - a clock knocked off its rhythm'
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Are we destined to repeat our parents' mistakes?

That is a central question, if not THE central question, in Northwest Corner. The sequel to Reservation Road (which I had not read, nor did I even realize that this was a sequel until I read the interview with John Burnham Schwartz at the end of the book), Northwest Corner picks up twelve years after Dwight Arno went to prison for accidentally killing a young boy. In Dwight's case, it was the old refrain: it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. He s
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 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
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of popular fiction
I won a copy of this book on Goodreads Giveaways and I'm so very glad that I did. I have not read Reservation Road, but it will be added to my to-read list. This was a dramatic story, but I loved the roles that the mothers played in this book. It has some very troubled characters, but I feel that none of them are all that far away from any of us in many ways. The raw emotion displayed in this book is often tough to take, but I felt like it was a story that needed to be told.

interesting quotes:
Gloria Bernal
Jun 24, 2011 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
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Aug 04, 2011 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
J.M. Cornwell
Sep 18, 2011 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
John Luiz
Dec 20, 2011 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
Aug 14, 2011 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
Aug 12, 2011 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
Holly Weiss
Apr 29, 2011 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,
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,
Oct 01, 2011 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
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I won an advanced reading copy of this book through Good Reads. The book arrived early this morning in the mail and I started reading it. Initially I was somewhat confused as it starts out with several different people telling their own stories - but I quickly grabbed on to the writing style and I literally could not put the book down until I read the last page.

This is an amazing story told through so many different eyes of how a single event affected so many different people in so many differe
Kasa Cotugno
Jul 04, 2011 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
Jul 30, 2011 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
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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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