In honor of their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, Kitty and Clem Johanssen set off on what's supposed to be a dream vacation: a gracious cruise up the East Coast from New York to Montreal. But in a hectic rush to embark, Clem foolishly loses his cash to a couple of street swindlers. Unbeknownst to Kitty, the incident sets off a profound introspection of Clem's weaknesses, regrets, and mortality - amplified by the sudden appearance of his old war buddy-turned-politician, T. McCollough Boyle, during a shore excursion. As Clem grows more distant throughout the trip, Kitty falls in with an attractive - and mysterious - Englishman named Toby Knight, who offers everything Clem doesn't: grace, charm and hopefulness. Now, the slowly smoldering confrontations of the last three decades - the deep-seated resentments, half-buried insecurities and burning passions - will surface in a confrontation so powerful it will test the limits of the couple's love.
At once unsettling and compassionate, As Long as He Needs Me is a psychological novel of faith, memory, love and the unyielding supremacy of time.