Long Drive Home

A Novel

Long Drive Home

In this New York Times bestselling psychological thriller, “a gripping morality tale that raises questions about race, conscience, and the responsibilities of parenthood” (People), a happily married man makes a split-second decision that sends his life into a devastating tailspin.

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—not kill him. But when Glen realizes no one saw the deadly accident, he impulsively lies to the police, to his wife, even to his six-year-old daughter, Sarah, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. In his efforts to avoid a lawsuit or prison, what Glen 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? It’s a question Glen can’t let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his own culpability, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different in kind but with equally terrible potential.

Long Drive Home is a stunning cautionary tale of unintended consequences that confirms Will Allison’s reputation as a rising literary talent.
  • Free Press | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416543046 | 
  • February 2012
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Long Drive Home includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Will Allison. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


A happily married suburban father makes a mistake that results in a teenager’s death and sends his own life into a devastating tailspin. Written in part as a confessional letter, Long Drive Home is a cautionary tale that explores the moral ambiguities of personal responsibility as it chronicles a father’s attempt to explain himself to his daughter—even though he knows that in doing so, he risks losing her forever.


1. While driving home with his daughter, Sara, Glen Bauer engages in a showdown with a teenaged driver, Juwan Howard, that results in tragedy. Do you think the accident is all Glen’s fault? If not, how much of the blame rests with Juwan?

2. After being interrogated by the police, Glen lies to his wife, Liz, about the accident too: “I waited until we got to the restaurant to tell my version, basically the same story I’d told the police. Somehow, with Liz, it felt like even more of a lie.” (p. 30) see more

More Books from this Author

In 1976, on the day of his wife’s funeral, Wylie Greer drops off his five-year-old daughter, Holly, at his father-in-law’s dairy farm on the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina. Wylie asks for a little time to clear his head, but thirty years pass before Holly sees her father again. What You Have Left is about a father and daughter trying to make their way back to one another across decades of longing, uncertainty, and ambivalence—all the while hoping to discover that what they have left...

About the Author

Will Allison
Jennifer Barrett

Will Allison

Will Allison’s debut novel, What You Have Left, was selected for Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, Borders Original Voices, and Book Sense Picks, and was named one of 2007’s notable books by the San Francisco Chronicle. His short stories have appeared in magazines such as Zoetrope: All-Story, Glimmer Train, and One Story and have received special mention in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies. He is the former executive editor of Story. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he now lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey. Learn more about Will Allison at www.willallison.com.