THE LONGEST NIGHT (Random House) is Andria William’s debut novel and the beginning of a long and successful writing career should she choose it. Based on a true, but not well-known incident of the only fatal nuclear accident to occur in the United States, THE LONGEST NIGHT tells the story of an explosion that occurred when the control rods lifted too high, going into “supercritical.”
In 1959, Nat Collier moves with her Army Specialist husband, Paul, and their two young daughters, Samantha and Liddie to Idaho Falls, Idaho, a remote military town. Paul is stationed to help oversee one of the country’s first nuclear reactors, an assignment that seems full of opportunity.
Paul discovers that the CR-1 reactor is not functioning properly, putting his family and the entire community in danger. When he approaches the higher-ups, he finds their plan is to cover up the problem, rather than fix it. Paul can’t bring himself to tell his wife the truth, and this creates a wedge and problems in their marriage.
Lonely and restless, Nat can’t seem to fit into the new community of military wives and town. She struggles to adjust into her role as a housewife and longs for a real friend. When she meets rancher, Esrom, she finds herself comforted by his company. But as rumors spread, the secrets between Nat and Paul build and threaten to tear them apart. His unhappiness at home only seems to compound the constant pressure he faces at work.
“When the time came, it would happen before he knew it, it would happen without him there, despite everything he had always done to be ready, he would be too late.”
It was Paul’s biggest fear not to be at the CR-1 when it eventually blew and that’s what happens. From that point on, everything shifts professionally and personally.
THE LONGEST NIGHT explores a marriage, shifting tides of trust and just what extremes we’ll go to protect the ones we love.
To learn more about the real SL-1 accident, which happened in Idaho Falls, January 3rd, 1961, killing three people and the National Reactor Testing Stations in the 1950s and 60s, you may want to further read Todd Tucker’s, book, ATOMIC AMERICA and William McKeown’s, IDAHO FALLS. Unlike Andria Williams’ book, Tucker’s and McKeown’s books are non-fiction.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of THE LONGEST NIGHT for an honest review. THE LONGEST NIGHT by Andria Williams will be published January 12th.
I look forward to reading what Andria Williams writes next.
Feel free to check out http://www.cindyroesel.com for more of my reviews and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”