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<p>Henry Childs is just seventeen when he falls into a love affair so intense it nearly destroys him. To escape the wrath of the young girl’s father, Henry joins the Marines, arriving in Korea on the eve of the brutal battle of the Chosin Reservoir—the defining moment of the Korean War. There he confronts an enemy force far beyond the scope of his imagining, but the challenges he meets upon his return home, scarred and haunted, are greater by far. <br />From the steamy streets of New Orleans to the bone-chilling Korean landscape, award-winning author Robert Olmstead takes us into one of the most physically challenging battles in history and, with just as much intensity, into an electrifying, all-consuming love affair. </p>
<strong>Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012</strong>: <em>Spare</em>. <em>Elegiac</em>. <em>Well-crafted</em>. These are words used to describe Robert Olmstead’s novel <em>The Coldest Night</em>—and all of them are true—but what really makes the book special is the imagery and emotion throughout. A seventeen-year-old Henry falls in love with Mercy, the young daughter of a judge. They run away to New Orleans, where they create their own private Eden, but eventually Mercy’s family locates them and forces the two lovers apart. Seeing few alternatives, Henry enlists to fight in the Korean War. One could read far into this novel and think that it is a book built around young love. But when Henry goes to Korea, the language lifts off to a new level. Though spare in its presentation, The Coldest Night is a novel of surprises. It is emotional and frequently profound.