Recommended Reading Reservation Road

This novel was recommended by a staff member at my local library. By the way I would love that job. If anyone would like to pay me to come to your library and place books out with colorful bookmarks saying “Read Me” I’m your girl.  Who am I kidding I wouldn’t even need to be paid. Reservation Road was written in 1998 by John Burnham Schwartz. I was unfamiliar with this author when I picked up the book. What I liked best about this novel is the author’s way of telling the story. He is a wonderful writer and is very well versed in the art of  “showing instead of telling”. I was hooked from the first chapter. All right what is it about you ask? This book is about a boy being killed in a hit-and-run accident. Before you scream SPOILER ALERT I can assure you it happens right away and the whole book deals with the aftermath of the accident. The story was beautifully written from the viewpoints of the murdered son’s mother and father. It was also told from the viewpoint of the driver of the car that hit the boy. He also happens to have a son the same age as the boy he kills. This was a very effective way of telling the story. The guilt from the father of the murdered boy was palpable. It also did a good job of portraying the strained relationship between the parents after losing their son and still having to care for their young daughter. The most fascinating part to me was the glimpse we got to observe from the driver of the hit-and-run. It probably doesn’t need to be said but he is a very unlikable human being. How could someone not stop after hitting a child? The author was very convincing in how this could be done. 

I have found people to be turned off when explaining that this book is about a boy being killed in a hit-and-run accident. “Why would I want to read a book about that?” you may also ask.  Schwartz does a wonderful job in doing what all good fiction should do. Teaching us what it means to be human. Light reading for your beach vacation this is not but I promise you, you will be moved. I would love to hear what you all think of this book. 

4 thoughts on “Recommended Reading Reservation Road

  1. I remember reading this book quite a while ago. I agree, the story telling is very compelling. I can still ‘feel’ it now. There is also a film version, but for this story, it fell way short if the book.

  2. I agree. The story was told in a very compelling way. I can still ‘feel’ the emotions the author evokes and the tension of the plotting.

  3. Hi Laura. I didn’t realize there was a movie version of this book. I am almost always disappointed by movie adaptations. I did, however, love the The Help and was only lukewarm about the book. I finally figured out how to follow your blog. Keep up the good work! For those interested her website is lauraunleashed.com. PS I love picture of your dad (is that you with him?) on your facebook page. Tara

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