By Nick Arvin
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061995163, 329pp.
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
One instant can change an entire lifetime.
As a boy, Ellis Barstow heard the sound of the collision that killed Christopher, his older half brotheran accident that would haunt him for years. A decade later, searching for purpose after college, Ellis takes a job as a forensic reconstructionist, investigating and re-creating the details of fatal car accidentsunder the guidance of the irascible John Boggs, who married Christopher's girlfriend. Ellis takes naturally to the work, fascinated by the task of trying to find reason, and justice, within the seemingly random chaos of smashed glass and broken lives. But Ellis is harboring secrets of his ownnot only his memory of the car crash that killed his brother but also his feelings for Boggs's wife, Heather, which soon lead to a full-blown affair. And when Boggs inexplicably disappears, Ellis sets out to find him . . . and to try to make sense of the crash site his own life has become.
Raising a host of universal questionsCan science ever explain matters of the heart? Can we ever escape the gravitational pull of the past?Nick Arvin's novel is at once deeply moving and compulsively readable.
“Suffused with sharp turns and minute, telling details that add up to a riveting consideration of risk and responsibility.”
“The Reconstructionist becomes a contemplation of the broadest questions of life: How do we love one another? How do we survive the accidents of our lives? … Nick Arvin is an immensely gifted writer, and he has given us a thrilling, soulful book.”
-David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
“With precision prose, The Reconstructionist hurtles the reader at breakneck pace through a story of love and the collision physics of auto crashes....A materpiece of modern fiction.”
-Cortright McMeel, author of Short