The Longest Night (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
The Longest Night Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

"The Colliers are a young military family starting a new life in Idaho Falls. Paul has been assigned to work at the CR-1, a Nuclear Facility in need of repairs. While her husband is on assignment, Nat has to navigate her way through the challenges that come with being a military wife in 1960. The Longest Night is a compelling, character-driven drama about the complexities of relationships set against the backdrop of a forgotten time in America's nuclear history. This historical fiction is fueled with tension that will keep you enthralled ‘til the very end!" --Jen

— From Jen's Staff Recommendations


A scintillating debut novel about a young couple whose marriage is tested when they move to an army base rife with love triangles, life-or-death conflicts, and a dramatic cover-up

In 1959, Nat Collier moves with her husband, Paul, and their two young daughters to Idaho Falls, a remote military town. An Army Specialist, Paul is stationed there to help oversee one of the country's first nuclear reactors--an assignment that seems full of opportunity.

Then, on his rounds, Paul discovers that the reactor is compromised, placing his family and the entire community in danger. Worse, his superiors set out to cover up the problem rather than fix it. Paul can't bring himself to tell Nat the truth, but his lies only widen a growing gulf between them.

Lonely and restless, Nat is having trouble adjusting to their new life. She struggles to fit into her role as a housewife and longs for a real friend. When she meets a rancher, Esrom, she finds herself drawn to him, comforted by his kindness and company. But as rumors spread, the secrets between Nat and Paul build and threaten to reach a breaking point.

Based on a true story of the only fatal nuclear accident to occur in America, The Longest Night is a deeply moving novel that explores the intricate makeup of a marriage, the shifting nature of trust, and the ways we try to protect the ones we love.

Praise for The Longest Night

" 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

"Scintillating . . . 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)

"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

"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."--David Abrams, author of Fobbit

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Andria Williams received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband, an active-duty naval officer, are currently stationed in Colorado with their three young children. This is her first novel. From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812987423
ISBN-10: 081298742X
Publisher: Random House Trade
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 416
Language: English