The Longest Night is reminiscent of Revolutionary Road, if such a novel were set in the American West, this engrossing and suspenseful debut features a young couple fighting to save both their marriage, and the town they live in.
In 1959, Nat Collier is a carefree California girl with what seems like the perfect life: a devoted Army Specialist husband named Paul and two beautiful children. She reluctantly gives up her beachside existence to move to the remote outpost of Idaho Falls, where Paul is stationed on what seems like a routine assignment—overseeing the daily operations of one of the country’s first nuclear reactors. But shortly after his arrival, Paul is horrified to learn that the reactor has been built incorrectly—its core is crumbling, creating a ticking time bomb for the town. What’s more, he sees that the military management is trying to conceal, rather than fix the problem. Scrambling for solutions, Paul attempts to keep Nat unaware of the danger, but his lies serve only to widen a growing gulf between them. Nat is struggling, and failing, to assimilate into the catty culture of the military wives who rule the town. Overwhelmingly lonely, she finds herself drawn to another man—a young rancher and fellow outsider named Esrom. By turns hair-raising and deeply moving, The Longest Night is a novel about the hard decisions that must be made in a marriage, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.
A native of northern California, where her parents were public-school teachers, Andria Williams attended UC-Berkeley (B.A. English) and the University of Minnesota (M.F.A. – Creative Writing). She and her husband, an active-duty naval officer, have three children ages 10, 7, and 3. They have been stationed most recently in Virginia, Illinois, California, and Colorado. She runs the Military Spouse Book Review blog, which promotes the writing of women veterans and military spouses and publishes book reviews and essays. The Longest Night is her first novel.