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Extended Audio Sample Reservation Road, by John Burnham Schwartz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,341 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Burnham Schwartz Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A riveting novel of feeling and suspense in which grief and punishment become tragically intertwined.

At the close of a beautiful summer day near the quiet Connecticut town where they live, the Learner family—Ethan and Grace, their children, Josh and Emma—stop at a gas station on their way home from a concert. Josh Learner, lost in a ten-year-old’s private world, is standing at the edge of the road when a car comes racing around the bend. He is hit and instantly killed. The car speeds away.

From this moment forward, Reservation Road becomes a harrowing countdown to the confrontation between two very different men. The hit-and-run driver is a small-town lawyer named Dwight Arno, a man in desperate need of a second chance. Dwight is also the father of a ten-year-old boy, who was asleep in the car the night Josh Learner was killed. Now Dwight must decide whether to run from his crime or to pay the price for what he did. Ethan Learner, a respected professor of literature at a small New England college, has seen his orderly world shattered in a single moment, yet persists in the belief that he can find the unknown man who killed his son. Behind their stories are those of eight-year-old Emma, who can't stop thinking her brother's death was her fault, and of Grace, who must find the strength to keep herself and her family together, and to be the mother Emma so badly needs.

In a gripping narrative woven from the voices of Ethan, Dwight, and Grace, Reservation Road tells the story of two ordinary families facing an extraordinary crisis—a book that reads like a thriller but opens up a world rich with psychological nuance and emotional wisdom. Reservation Road explores the terrain of grief even as it astonishes with unexpected redemption: powerful and wrenching and impossible to put down.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dave | 2/9/2014

    " A simple accident and a boy is dead. It is the consequences this book explores. It is heartbreaking and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Chien-ying | 2/7/2014

    " A realistic character study of how people deal with loss and tragedy. Hearbreaking and touching, this is one of my favorite books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michele | 2/4/2014

    " I enjoyed this book while at the same time finding it completely depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Margarita | 1/29/2014

    " This was a taut thriller involving family dynamics. It was one of those "life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye" novels which I just love. "

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