A novel of literary suspense which examines the disintegration of 2 families after the accidental death of 1 of their sons. Set in surburban Massachusetts, a story of 2 families whose lives permanently intertwined when 1 father, Dwight accidentally killsJosh, 10 year old son of Ethan & Grace, in a hit & run on Reservation road. The novel tells ...
A novel of literary suspense which examines the disintegration of 2 families after the accidental death of 1 of their sons. Set in surburban Massachusetts, a story of 2 families whose lives permanently intertwined when 1 father, Dwight accidentally killsJosh, 10 year old son of Ethan & Grace, in a hit & run on Reservation road. The novel tells the parallel stories of Dwight, his 10 year old son, Sam, ex wife Ruth and her new husband Norris, and the mourners : academic English Professor Ethan, wife Grace, a garden designer and 8 year old daughter Emma, as we wait for Dwight to confess or be discovered. During his life his wife had an affair and left him, getting custody of his son Sam, seeing only after 7pm on sundays. On the fateful day, Dwight and Sam late coming home from a baseball game, so driving fast. Same day Ethan's family went to concert and had stopped at garage for toilet. Son drifted into road and was killed instantly when hit by Dwight. Ethan only sees a car with 1 headlight and a man calling out a word like sam or slam.. Ethan is fixated on revenge, while police give up. With Dwight on brink of suicide, Ethan befriends Dwights son, who gives his faather away. Ethan confonts Dwight in the snow in the mmiddle of the night An incredibly powerful and suspenseful novel. The characters are extremely strong and become increasingly complicated and connecyed to 1 another in the most accomplished, spare and moving way.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-13 "I wasn't rich, but my life was secure. That had always been its fundamental premise," observes Ethan Learner, an English professor at a small college in Connecticut. Moments later, his 10-year-old son, Josh, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, inaugurating a novel of terrible beauty that charts the progress of grief with concerto-like precision. For Ethan, his wife, Grace, and their daughter, Emma, Josh becomes both a cold absence and a constant, haunting, unfulfilled promise. For Dwight æthe driver who killed Joshæthe event stands as more evidence of a significantly flawed life. Dwight is no cartoon villain; with a son, an ex-wife and a history of sudden violence, he's like a lesser Ethanæa poor father who, through incompetence, has killed another man's son. Schwartz structures the book with the tautness of a thrilleræWill Ethan find his son's murderer?æbut this book quickly becomes much larger than a simple revenge tale. Neither does it become maudlin or forced. Ethan, Grace and Dwight all seem ruined by the boy's death, but, like three drowning people, they keep fighting for airæaided by Schwartz's strong, measured prose and exquisitely chosen metaphors (describing his now-troubled marriage, Ethan says, "Our house... a wordless, internalized diaspora... a landscape riven with fault lines"). "I want to tell this right," Ethan says several times during the course of the book. The author's first novel, Bicycle Days, gathered solid reviews but modest notice. With this effort, he seems poised to reach a break-out audience. If a story about overwhelming tragedy can be told right, this novel isætelling it with wise observation and abundant humanity. 100,000 first printing; Random House audio; author tour. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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