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The Longest Night: A Novel by [Williams, Andria]
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4.1 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Length: 402 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of January 2016: With any luck, the publication of The Longest Night will signal the beginning of a new kind of historical novel: one that takes not a real-life character but an incident--here, a little known nuclear plant accident--and imagines the lives of the people who lived through it. Set in the late 1950s, this strikingly assured debut tells the story of an army family trying to adjust to the cloistered, small town life of a base in rural Idaho. Paul is working at one of the US’s early nuclear plants; his wife Nat, a bit of a free spirit by the mores of the time and place, is trying to fit in without completely giving in. (She reminds me of Bill Masters’ wife Libby in Masters of Sex.) Early on, Paul suspects that his boss is taking dangerous shortcuts at the plant, and knows for sure that said boss is a creep, as evidenced by a scene so sexist, violent and abusive I’d rather not describe it. When Paul confronts him, he gets sent away to Greenland to work on another project, leaving Nat and the girls to fend for themselves. What happens at the plant is spelled out from the beginning and what goes on in Nat’s life is fairly predictable-- spoiler alert: there’s a well-meaning, laconic cowboy involved--but Williams never lets the melodrama (or the relationship) go too far; keeping her focus tight on Nat and Paul and the longstanding tensions that were merely exacerbated by the move to Idaho, she keeps the story swift, believable and surprising. Williams gets the details and language of the time just right--a doctor’s receptionist actually informs Nat of her pregnancy by saying “the rabbit died” and there’s wit in even her most ordinary observations: “It was remarkable how even the mere mention of a couple of beers could make Richards act as if he’d already had them.” This is a wise, entertaining and illuminating novel. --Sara Nelson

Review

“[A] stunning debut.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“[A] smart and detailed portrait of a dissolving postwar marriage . . . will remind many readers of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“[Andria] Williams’s quietly confident style is without swagger or gimmick. . . . What emerges most powerfully from The Longest Night is a kind of quiet wonder at the exquisite intricacy, but astonishing durability, of familial love.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“Think Army Wives meets Serial meets your perfect long weekend read. About an army base with a lot of love triangles, and a cover-up.”theSkimm
 
“The tension builds heavily with each page.”InStyle
 
“In both Paul and Nat we find echoes of Frank and April Wheeler in Richard Yates’s classic novel of late-1950s suburbia, Revolutionary Road. . . . [The Longest Night] not only packs taut, enthralling and utterly absorbing drama, but unexpected triumph and grace.”Paste
 
The Longest Night is not only a revealing story of a community gripped by Cold War paranoia, but also an unsettling portrait of commitment and desire.”BookPage
 
“This is a great first novel.”Library Journal

“Scintillating . . . Williams keeps the narrative interest percolating with great period details and by allowing her characters’ thoughts and emotions full expression. . . . A smoldering, altogether impressive debut that probes the social and emotional strains on military families in a fresh and insightful way.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“[A] luminous debut . . . Williams expertly builds tension between Paul and Nat as the story progresses towards the inevitable nuclear tragedy in this utterly absorbing and richly rewarding novel.”Booklist (starred review)

“In The Longest Night, unspoken longings within a marriage trigger an emotional explosion just as intense as the nuclear accident at the novel’s core. Andria Williams’s debut is an intimately detailed portrait of love, trust, and guilt in a town—and an era—clouded with secrets.”—Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You
 
The Longest Night is a smart and compassionate novel that offers as many fresh insights into marriage and intimacy as it does about American nuclear history. Andria Williams is a terrific writer—clear-eyed and empathetic—and this is a fantastic debut.”—Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
 
“It’s hard to believe The Longest Night is Andria Williams’s debut novel. Her command of language, character and plot—the three essential ingredients for a riveting read—is extraordinary. The Longest Night is about the fragility of a marriage, a Cold War nuclear accident on the plains of Idaho, and the stresses on a military family during deployment, and it takes on each of those things with all the robust storytelling energy of the great Russian novelists of the nineteenth century. This is the book I will be pressing into my friends’ hands this year when they ask me what they should be reading.”—David Abrams, author of Fobbit

Product details

  • File Size: 3597 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (January 12, 2016)
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2016
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VZZ2LTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,239 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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