Today is my stop on the blog tour for ANight Twice As Long, Andrew Simonet’s emotional and powerful portrayal of family with a disabled child, love and friendship in a changing world, where it isn’t always easy to understand and come to terms with what you are experiencing and feeling. Thank you to Giselle from XpressoBook Tours and the publisher for inviting me to participatein the blog tour for this book.
A Night Twice as Long
by Andrew Simonet
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date: June 1st 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?
The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she’s been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes.
On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex’s relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever.
In this honest and gripping young adult novel, Andrew Simonet spins a propulsive tale about what it means to turn on the lights and look at what’s real.
Andrew Simonet’s story of a teenage girl who goes on a journey in the middle of a blackout has incredibly well-written characters and touches upon some very difficult issues such as living with and raising a disabled child, divorce, ableism and racism.
We find ourselves in the middle of a long blackout. I’s been twenty two days since the lights went out and there is a lot of uncertainty as to what caused it and more importantly how long it will last. Alex’s best (the only one who keptcomingtoherhouse and worrying about her after what happened with her brother) friend Anthony suggests walking ten miles to the nearest town to try to contact Anthony’s mother who is in the navy. After Child Protection Services removed Alex’s younger brother Georgie from their mother’s care and placed him with another family, Alex has been spending most of her time at home. Their little family seems to have fallen apart, permanently stuck in their own blackout, grieving the loss of their life with Georgie. Now Alex finally is ready to leave the house and face the journey which is going to bring many changes.
I loved the metaphor of the blackout and the surreal, dystopian feel it gave to the story-the darkness, the uncertainty, the way we people adapt and continue living. Alex’s brother Georgie is on the autism spectrum, so most of the book is about the effect of living with, taking care of, loving and cherishing a disabled child has on their family. Their love of each other is undeniable, even though the world doesn’t always get it.
Alex is such a powerful character. She is honest, considerate, caring, and, no, she hasn’t got it it all figured out. After all, she is a teenager and there’s still a lot to learn about the world and people in it and this includes her complex feelings towards Anthony. There are also some honest observations about racial discrimination.
The plot is centered around Alex’s journey, but, of course, it isn’t just the day orthe ten miles that we are talking about. It’s the moment of reflection and profound realization, of feeling what you are feeling and accepting it. I thought the pace was excellent, as it allowed the reader not only to follow what was happening, but also feel the changes in the characters’ perception of their life and their relationships.
A Night Twice as Long is a multi-layered, emotional, real book which kept my interest all way through. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Giselle from XpressoBook Tours, NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Andrew Simonet is a choreographer and writer in Philadelphia. His first novel, Wilder, published in 2018. He co-directed Headlong Dance Theater for twenty years and founded Artists U, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives. He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two sons, Jesse Tiger and Nico Wolf.
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
- Print copy of A Night Twice as Long
Thank you for reading the post! If you would like to see what other bloggers thought of the book, you can find the full blog tour schedule here.