long drive home, hardcover 2011, paperback 2012. click to order.
long drive home
Life can change in an instant because of one small
mistake. For Glen Bauer, all it takes is a quick jerk of the steering
wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver. But the reckless driver is
killed, and just like that, Glen's placid suburban existence begins to
unravel. When Glen realizes no one else saw the accident, he
impulsively lies about what happened--to the police, to his wife, even
to his six-year-old daughter,
Sara, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. But a tenacious
detective thinks Sara might have seen more than she knows, or more than
her parents will let her tell. And when Glen tries to prevent the
detective from interrogating Sara, he finds himself in a high-stakes
cat-and-mouse game that could end in a lawsuit or prison. What he
doesn't see coming is the reaction of his wife, Liz--a panicked plan
that threatens to tear their family apart in the name of saving it. But
what if the accident wasn't really Glen's fault? What if someone else
were to blame for the turn his life has taken? It's a question Glen
can't let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his
own guilt, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different
in kind but with the potential to be equally devastating. a video about the book.
praise for long drive home
"Long Drive Home is a book that once you pick up you won't put down.. . Perfect distraction, perfect pace."
--, Top 5 "Perfect Summer Reads," 08.22.11
"What results from Allison's inquiries into one
(Every)man's guilty conscience is an engrossing little novel with the
nagging yet improbable insistence of an anxious dream."
"Like a nightmare that gets scarier and scarier as the hyperrealistic details mount, Will Allison's psychological thriller
Long Drive Home can shake you up . . . But while wondering
whether Glen will get arrested is what keeps you turning pages,
Allison's eye for the details of marriage and fatherhood, and his
deconstruction of what can happen when a good guy makes one false move,
are what will break your heart."
--, June 2011
"One lie leads to another lie that leads to a taut thriller that hits you right at home."
--Patrik Henry Bass, senior editor at Essence, names his top 5 summer reads on NPR's The Takeaway, 06.03.11
"This is a book willing to engage the big issues."
"A gripping morality tale that raises questions about race, conscience and the responsibilities of parenthood." A People Pick.
"A moment of pique has life-and-death consequences in this suspenseful, finely etched novel." A Parade Pick.
--Parade Magazine, 05.22.11
"While narrowly focusing his lens on the event and its
consequences, Mr. Allison still manages to take in a panorama of human
behavior. . . Mr. Allison’s gift is in making [his protagonist's] lie —
and each new one it inevitably spawns — understandable, showing how
this story could be anyone’s."
"Allison focuses on the brutally quick unraveling of Glen’s peaceful existence, filling the reader with not only dread but
also the desire to discover what terrible--or hopeful--development awaits on the next page."
"Allison portrays Glen's string of bad choices as an unrelenting whirlpool, sucking him down until he has nowhere
to escape, as the reader wishes in vain that he would stop and think rationally before he compounds his mistakes."
"[A] tight drama, part psychological thriller, part tragedy . . . Allison's effortless prose and playful genre mixing showcase
a burgeoning talent."
"The writing is very strong, and it’s a lean, spare book, just
over 200 pages, that manages to pack a real punch and forces the reader
to wonder about all the little actions every day that may or may not
have long-term consequences."
--Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Arrivals, at
"In Long Drive Home, Will Allison displays a stunning understanding of the ways
small unworthy acts can unravel us. This story of responsibility, regret, and one
family's response to a single dishonesty is a powerful tribute to the complexity of
human interactions. You won't soon forget either the chills or the compassion the
book will evoke."
--Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
"In Long Drive Home, Will Allison reminds us how risky
life is, how one bad move, one swerve from the right path, might set in
motion a series of events that can destroy what we love."
--Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of American Salvage and Once Upon a River
"Will Allison's Long Drive Home is a sneaky novel, and I mean this as highest
praise. Just as the narrator's misdeeds sneak into his conscience and then refuse
to leave, so too will this marvelous novel's wry voice and beautifully drawn
characters burrow into your heart and mind. A harrowing, terrifically tense,
--Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
"Long Drive Home examines, with haunting elegance, how
quickly one bad decision can descend into calamity. The dread grows
with every page-as does the horrifying realization that the narrator's
choices could be yours, and his tragedy could so easily be your own."
--Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family
"A lean masterwork of suspense, Long Drive Home is
burnished, brilliant, and irresistibly alluring in its depiction of a
man who, when beset by his greatest fears, finds only himself to
--Bruce Machart, author of The Wake of Forgiveness
"Will Allison is a natural storyteller. As he makes clear with his
stunning second book, he also has a habit of writing poignant,
compulsively readable novels. Long Drive Home is a gripping, elegant, morally complex, and vividly realized portrait of our time and place."
--Frederick Reiken, author of Day for Night
"In Long Drive Home a fatal car wreck sets off a series
of moral crises in the lives of an ordinary suburban family. At stake:
race, justice, a couple's marriage, the future of their six-year-old
daughter. Will Allison has written a wise and indelible domestic
thriller, heart-quickening, heartbreaking-that rare thing: a genuine
--Porter Shreve, author of When the White House Was Ours
"Will Allison's beautiful novel Long Drive Home is part
detective story, part wrenching family drama. It will make you hold
your children tighter and kiss your husband or wife longer, thinking of
the simple pleasures of everyday life that can be so easily spirited
--Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
Will Allison's books on Goodreads
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