“Nuanced and moving . . . [a] story about the indestructible bonds of family.”—The New York Times
From John Burnham Schwartz, one of the our most compelling and compassionate writers, comes a riveting novel 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, at fifty, is a man who has started over without exactly moving on. Living alone in California, Dwight manages a sporting goods store and dates a woman to whom he hasn’t revealed the truth about his past. Then Sam, Dwight’s estranged college-age son, shows up without warning, fleeing a devastating incident in his own life. As the two men are forced to confront their similar natures and their half-buried hopes for connection, they must also search for redemption in their attempts to rewrite, outrun, or eradicate the past.
Praise for Northwest Corner
“A great American novel.”—Abraham Verghese
“One of the most emotionally commanding novels of the year."—NPR
“Exhilarating . . . In Schwartz’s hands, the narrative unfolds delicately, each chapter a puzzle piece that fits seamlessly into the whole. [Grade:] A.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A compelling tale of a family . . . finding their way back together again.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Stark and deeply affecting . . . Readers will grow to care deeply about whether and how [the characters’] lives can be redeemed.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The masterful Northwest Corner is that finest of things—a moral novel about mortal events.”—Dennis Lehane
The literary tradition of the middle-class American male as a creaky vessel teetering on the verge of moral meltdown yet struggling to reconstruct himself has found its latest and arguably most adept practitioner in Schwartz (Reservation Road). Like Johnny Hake and Harry Angstrom before him, Dwight Arno is a man who has done wrong. A Connecticut tax lawyer disbarred after a fatal hit and run accident, he does not expect a chance at redemption, but it arrives in the form of his son, Sam, who makes a mad dash across the country and shows up at his estranged father's front door after a vicious bar fight puts an end to his dreams of baseball stardom. Pontificating discourses masquerading as stream-of-consciousness mar the narrative at times and inject a sanctimonious streak, but Schwartz is otherwise exceptional at describing the chemistry of desire, creating emotional tension, and making his characters feel more like flesh and blood than fictional constructs. Imaginative and taut, Schwartz's writing is seamless and infinitely inspired.
Just amazing. Heart throbbing.