The Coldest Night (Large Print / Paperback)
April 2012 Indie Next List
“In The Coldest Night, Olmstead tells the story of Henry Childs and his first love, his run from its failure into the brutality of the Korean War, and his scarred return home. Reading Olmstead is like eating a meal put together with a minimum number of ingredients that have lovingly been transformed into something amazing and truly satisfying. Olmstead is an author every lover of words should read, and this new novel is a great place to start.”
— Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, AR
Henry Childs is just seventeen when he falls into a love affair so intense it nearly consumes him. But when young Mercy's disapproving father threatens Henry's life, Henry runs as far as he can--to the other side of the world.The time is 1950, and the Korean War hangs in the balance. Descended from a long line of soldiers, Henry enlists in the marines and arrives in Korea on the eve of the brutal seventeen-day battle of the Chosin Reservoir--the turning point of the war--completely unprepared for the forbidding Korean landscape and the unimaginable circumstances of a war well beyond the scope of anything his ancestors ever faced. But the challenges he meets upon his return home, scarred and haunted, are greater by far.Robert Olmstead's riveting new novel is not only a passionate story of love and war, it is a timeless story of soldiers coming home to a country with little regard for, and even less knowledge of, what they've confronted. Through his hero, Olmstead reveals an unspoken truth about combat: that for many men, the experience of war is the most enlivening, electric, and extraordinary experience of their lives.