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Paperback Reservation Road Book

ISBN: 0375702733

ISBN13: 9780375702730

Reservation Road

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A riveting novel of feeling and suspense in which grief and punishment become tragically intertwined. At the close of a beautiful summer day near the quiet Connecticut town where they live, the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"It required a state of suspended disbelief. Otherwise you might go insane..."

It really takes a lot for a book to really grip me these days, especially since I have the awful habit of starting a lot of books and never finishing. Nine out of ten times it's no fault of the writer, mind you. I end up seeing something else at the bookstore and want to start that as opposed to finishing the current book I'm reading. I found no such problem with "Reservation Road" by John Burnham Schwartz, as the book completely hooked me in from the first page. It's a heartbreaking and surprisingly tense work of art that gives you honest-to-god real characters who despite all of their flaws and shortcomings, you care for each and every one of them. Sometimes it only takes that one random event that can cause everything to fall apart. This happens on such a night when a boy is killed by a hit-and-run. Ethan is the boy's father and cannot even begin to comprehend what has happened. He is further torn apart when he sees that the justice system that he thought he could rely on cannot even bring him the closure he wants. Grace is his wife, and after the accident she is completely disconnected from everyone and everything, not caring about her appearance or her daily activities and duties as a mother to their remaining child. Dwight Arno is the man responsible for accidentally running over the boy, and even though he knows that he should've stopped and turned himself in, he keeps on driving fearing any interruption that'll keep him away from trying to make up on being a good father to his son. Still, that doesn't take away the guilt and the pain he feels for what he has done and he knows there's no going back to normal, no matter how hard he tries to pretend. The story is masterfully told using three POV's and switches between them. From Ethan's and Dwight's POV, the story is told in first person and from their account and feelings. The POV of Grace is told using third person, which I think is an excellent decision being that Grace, as you'll read, seems to be the more disconnected and distant from everything. Using three first person narratives would've thrown the novel over-the-top and have it become vulnerable to being melodramatic. Because we are given true insights to these characters, we cannot help but feel and care for them. And this is why it is so easy for the reader to get absorbed and lost into the world that Scwartz has painted for us. It's not a pretty or uplifting picture, yet we still read on. There is a lot of tension and suspense, but not from action. It is because we are given the privilege to know and feel what these people are thinking and we have no idea what they are capable of doing. The tension is subtle, but it definitely makes one's heart pound a little faster at times. Without giving anything away, I do understand why some people might be upset with how the book ends. My advice is that after you read it, you allow the ending soak into you a little. Even re-read it a few times, for if you do you will

Outstanding; wonderfully observed; beautifully paced

My favorite writer is Graham Greene & I almost never get the feeling I got when I read "The Quiet American" & knew I'd end up reading everything the man had written; I got that feeling about John Burnham Schwartz reading this excellent, understated, convincing thriller that succeeds in being much more concerned with the people than with the events without being boring. All the characters, including both boys and both wives, are excellently drawn. The book's just a pleasure to read as a piece of craftsmanship, dark subject matter notwithstanding. The only fault I could find is the somewhat sporadic appearance of the Learner dog, who sort of gets forgotten for a while & then suddenly reappears, & that's a very, very minor flaw in an outstanding novel. I'll make a point of reading whatever Schwartz writes.

This book will make you think!

It's 2 am and I just finished this book. Read it pretty much straight through. Very very compelling story about loss, grief, responsibility, guilt. The pacing is fantastic, chapters (each told from a different character's perspective) change in length as the pace changes, like a piece of music. Can't wait for this author's next work.

A great, fast-paced read

When I first picked up the book, I almost put it down because of the subject matter. But it managed to stay with me until I reached the checkout counter and I didn't regret my decision when I began reading it. Mr. Schwartz captured the essence of every character: the mother's intense grief, the father's rage and despair, the lawyer's guilt and shame over the accident the relationship with his family. He captured all that very well. I'd recommend this book to anyone.

Beautiful and heartbreaking

John Burnham Schwartz's novel "RESERVATION ROAD", gripped me from the first sentence and never let me go. Told in three alternating voices, the novel is a story of love, loss and finally, redemption. Mr. Schwartz took the topic of a hit and run accident (an issue dealt with in another fine novel THE LONG RAIN) and added a different twist. His prose is so powerfully compelling, you feel the desperation of Dwight, and the anguish of Ethan and Grace build with each turn of the page. I can only hope that Mr. Schwartz's next novel is as fine as this one, and that he doesn't keep us waiting long for it.
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