A moving and stunningly well reviewed novel of love, redemption and the power of family bonds.
Twelve years after a tragic accident and a cover-up that led to prison time, Dwight Arno, now fifty, is a man who has started over without exactly moving on. Living alone in California, haunted yet keeping his head down, Dwight manages a sporting goods store and dates a woman to whom he hasn't revealed the truth about his past. Then an unexpected arrival throws his carefully neutralized life into turmoil and exposes all that he's hidden.
Sam, Dwight's estranged college-age son, has shown up without warning, fleeing a devastating incident in his own life. In its way, Sam's sense of guilt is as crushing as his father's. As the two men are forced to confront their similar natures and their half-buried hopes for connection, they must also search for redemption and love. In turn, they dramatically transform the lives of the women around them: the ex-wives, mothers, and lovers they have turned to in their desperate attempts to somehow rewrite, outrun, or eradicate the past.
Told in the resonant voices of everyday people gripped in the emotional riptide of lived life, Northwest Corner is at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds that can never be broken and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.
This novel assembles the converging stories of father and son like a patchwork quilt, dipping back into the past, speaking from the viewpoint of one character and then another. The prose is clean and precision-cut, the narrative voice engaging but unsentimental. This is a very good novel. - Daily Mail
The masterly Northwest Corner is that finest of things-a moral novel about mortal events
I was enthralled by Northwest Corner, reluctant to tear myself away even for a moment from a tale so delicately assembled, so well paced. Schwartz evokes Steinbeck and Updike in his magical ability to weave, out of a regional story of family, a broader chronicle of America. I had a sense on every page of a writer whose abilities are at their peak, the parts of this tale interlocking just so, and yet being anything but predictable as Schwartz defines the nature of atonement, the many shades of love, and the face of redemption.
Eloquently told...[an] elegiac, thoughtful novel...While this isn't the first story about the indestructible bonds of family, it's an especially nuanced and moving one. - The New York Times
Daring as usual, Schwartz takes risks not just with his characters' lives but in his writing...A bruised beauty. - Elle
Stark and deeply effecting . . . readers will grow to care deeply about whether and how [the characters'] lives can be redeemed - Kirkus Reviews
Families may exist just to witness one another's disappointments, and the tribes in John Burham Schwartz's riveting, poetic new novel have plenty to gawk and wonder at. This is the first set of characters I've come across in years to compelt attention not just with outside action, of which there is plenty, but with psychological depths that reward study. It's rife with tragedies and redemptions, a wise book without being wise-assed, and you should read it.
Poetic, introspective, evocative...one of the most gut-wrenching books I've ever read....In Schwartz's hands, the narrative unfolds delicately, each chapter a puzzle piece that fits seamlessly into the whole. Grade: A. - Entertainment Weekly
John Burnham Schwartz is the bestselling author of five novels, including Northwest Corner, The Commoner, and Reservation Road, which was made into a film based on his screenplay. His books have been translated into twenty languages, and he has done extensive screen and television writing for the major Hollywood studios, including as screenwriter of HBO Films' The Wizard of Lies starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, for which he was nominated for a 2018 Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Writing. Literary Director of the Sun Valley Writers' Conference, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife, writer Aleksandra Crapanzano, and their son Garrick.