Sara Vilkomerson
February 08, 2016 AT 07:17 PM EST

The Longest Night: A Novel

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Andria Williams
publisher
Random House
genre
Novel

We gave it an A-

This stunning debut novel, which is based on a true story, is set in the late 1950s in an isolated and mostly Army-inhabited town called Idaho Falls. That’s where the Collier family—Paul and Nat and their two small children—relocate when Paul’s charged with overseeing a nuclear reactor there. Just as Paul realizes things are not so stable at the nuclear site, so, too, do things begin to shift at home. Nat is feeling both suffocated and lonely, but just as she needs her husband the most, he withdraws, consumed by worries about work. Estranged-marriage novels may be a dime a dozen, but this one stands apart. Williams expertly brings her beautifully written story to a tense conclusion you’ll still be thinking of long after you turn the last page. A–

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