Monday, August 15, 2011

'Northwest Corner' by John Burnham Schwartz (TLC Book Tour)

Teaser Synopsis ( I hate to give you too much information!)

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.

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.

(from Northwest Corner page 240 in the ARC; finished version may be different)

This book touched me on so many levels. The writing is some of the most authentic and real that I've read in quite some time. My only wish is that I would liked to have read 'Reservation Road' to get the back story before delving into this one. However, not doing that did not hinder my ability to fully love and appreciate where the characters are in their lives with Northwest Corner. This is quintessential American story telling and I could not put this book down. The characters seemed so real that I felt as if I knew them, as if they could be my next door neighbor. The story is something that could happen to anyone at anytime. For that reason alone I was drawn into the grips of their tale and when I finished felt as if I too had been put through an emotional wringer. This is a powerful piece of work about how a family comes to terms with past mistakes and to what lengths one may go to for redemption and love.

Recommend? I'm standing on the rooftops screaming out to my friends- READ THIS ONE! I finished this book over a week ago and the characters are still rattling around inside my heart. I have purchased Reservation Road and The Commoner because Schwartz's writing touched me and has made me want more!

Rating: 10/10

Published: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 285
Genre: Literary Fiction
ISBN:  9781400068456
*uncorrected ARC

About John Burnham Schwartz

John Burnham Schwartz is the author of the acclaimed novels The Commoner,Claire MarvelBicycle Days, andReservation Road, which was made into a motion picture based on his screenplay.  His new novel, Northwest Corner, will be published on July 26, 2011.  His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and his writing has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. A past winner of the Lyndhurst Foundation Award for mastery in the art of fiction, Schwartz is also an accomplished screenwriter, having written films for Focus Features, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate.  He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is currently Literary Director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Aleksandra Crapanzano, and their son, Garrick.
Learn more about John’s work at his website,, and onFacebook

Disclaimer:Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. It sounds like I am in need of this book!! Sounds AWESOME! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  2. You sold me on this one. It's not something I would normally gravitate towards, but your review makes it sound soooo good.


  3. OMG Staci, another 10/10. Another powerful, touching review for a powerful, touching novel that I just have to have! I'm so blaming you for my budget woes LOL

  4. Staci...WOW....I can tell how much you were moved by this book. I do want to read Reservation Road again first, because it had been many years.

    Thanks for encouraging me to get to these sooner than later.

  5. Wow, this book sounds fantastic! I'm going to get my hands on a copy. Great review, Staci!

  6. Wow, I can tell this book really touched you. I'm adding it to my wish list because it sounds like a book I need to experience.

  7. I really didn't think much about this book, but then I read your review. I'm definitely keeping this one in mind! The writing seems wonderful from the passage you included.

  8. Wow, what a powerful review for what sounds like a very emotionally powerful book. I'm putting Reservation Rd on my list right now.

  9. Sounds great, and the author's cute - a winning combo! It's going on my list!

  10. That one caught my eye at the book store the other day -- now I wish I had bought it.

  11. Excellent review and the quote you included is perfect. I think it gets your point across. I will add this to the tbr. Thanks Staci :)

  12. I'm reading this one this will be next!

    I didn't read Reservation Road, but I saw and LOVED the movie, so I'm quite certain I will enjoy this story.

    The characters in the movie (and I see that this author wrote that screenplay) touch that part in all of us that warns us about those unexpected events that can happen and turn our lives into disaster.

    Thanks for your thoughts and the recommendation.

  13. You have been reading great books lately :D

    Another awesome review. I kind of do not want to like the book but you make it sound so good

  14. Sounds wonderful! Just the type of writing I like!

  15. I am glad you enjoyed this! I read The Commoner a while ago and liked it.

  16. Wow! I'm going to have to take your recommendation and check this one out. Thanks!

  17. You are having great luck finding awesome books lately!

  18. I heard you way over hear and I will be on the look out for this book! ;o)

  19. Wow, now THAT is an amazing review! I'll definitely have to read this one.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  20. When you like a book you really like it. Lol. You've sold me. I'm going to start with Reservation Road first though.

  21. I hear you loud and clear. Both books are going on my list if you liked them that much.

  22. Totally agree with you on this one. The writing is just amazing.

  23. ...and yet aNOTHER rave review that lets me know that this one belongs on my own bookshelf! Thanks so much!

  24. Reservation Road is on my TBR list. So happy to see your love for this one!

  25. It's been many years since I read Reservation Road and I honestly have zero recollection of its premise. That said, I do want to read this based on your glowing review. I'll dig RR out of my stacks (hope I still have it!) and give it a reread before I read this one. Or, maybe I'll just read it without worrying about the backstory. It obviously didn't hinder your enjoyment. :)


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