NORTHWEST CORNER by JOHN BURNHAM SCHWARTZ.
Twelve years after a tragic 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.
..... Inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: 'Arno - Bus.'
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 91): Historically, pots and pans in the hands of aggrieved women are not my friends ......
MY THOUGHTS: A story of relationships, of the power of family ties. Sounds good? So why then was I so strangely unmoved by what was billed as an 'at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds'?
Sadly not a novel that I enjoyed. Too fragmented; I found the story which, chapter by chapter, was narrated by one of several characters disjointed, the fact that the chapters were so short and snappy making it seem even more so.
Though without a doubt beautifully written, it was too 'flowery' for my liking and I can't help but wonder if the story might have made more of an impact if it had been less so. Then there were all the Americanisms and, though I believe they were intended as a metaphor, the occasional use of sporting terms which meant nothing to me.
Interesting that the main-stay of the story (Dwight) should tell his story in the first person whilst others tell theirs in the third, but then again it is his actions, his complex, complicated relationship with his son (Sam), that ties the story together thus providing for me what was the only noteworthy aspect of the novel.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.