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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Debut from Andria Williams

The Longest Night (January 12, 2016) is the debut novel from Andria Williams. It's set in the 1950s, which makes it historical to me, but to some it may be a blast from the past. Paul and Nat Collier leave San Diego for Idaho Falls. There, Paul will work at a local nuclear plant, while Nat is to raise their daughters and become part of the military community. It isn't long before Paul realizes the issues with the plant and, perhaps more troubling, the knowledge that he's supposed to keep it quiet.

When Paul is sent to the Arctic for confronting his superior, a pregnant Nat is left in Idaho Falls with no real friends and two young girls to care for. When her car breaks down, she befriends a local mechanic, something definitely frowned upon in this era, so Nat is forced to keep her meetings with Esrom secret.

As The Longest Night ended up being a study of the times and what was expected of Paul, a military member, and Nat, a headstrong woman. Nat simply cannot understand why women cannot be adventurous and why it's so wrong for a man and woman to be friends without it meaning something more. I liked that. I actually appreciated Nat's character,and thought of how some things have changed so much, but some things never change. I was friends with my neighbor in the 1990s, and I'd hear comments about how unnatural it was for a single dad and married woman to be close friends. It was more that we were both home during the day with our kids. It didn't have to mean anything untoward, yet people tried to make more of it than was there.

Andria Williams' debut novel isn't a book I expected to like as much as I did. The setting is well developed. I felt as though I was part of this community. I also liked the characters and the issues they all face. With the touch of history, intriguing characters, and sense of impending doom with the reactor, this book kept me reading well into the night.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Tracy! It was so great to read your thoughts. Thanks for reading!! Andria