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The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

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the wanderers book

Three astronauts locked in intensive training for the first crewed mission to Mars: the wit and observation of Zoe Heller or Karen Joy Fowler meets the near-future setting of The Martian in this timely and compelling novel of ambition, endeavour and family.

‘‘I know NASA wants you to stay on as Chief Astronaut’ Boone says . . .
Rescue me, thinks Helen.’

The best of Helen Kane exists in space. If she doesn’t go back up, she’ll be consigned to a lesser version of herself on a planet that has also seen better days.

Helen is an experienced astronaut with a NASA position and a struggling grown-up daughter who needs her but when, at the age of fifty-three, she is offered a place on the training programme for the first crewed mission to Mars, she cannot refuse a last chance to walk among the stars.

Her fellow astronauts are Sergei, a gruff Russian whose teenage sons are less mysterious to him than they’d like to think; and Yoshi, kind and focused, whose exhaustive carefulness has led him ever further from his wife. The three will be enclosed for months in a tiny spacecraft, while outside their loved ones negotiate life on Earth. How far will the wanderers travel in the pursuit of endeavour, and what will it be like to come home?

‘Phenomenal. The Wanderers explores the dangers and necessities of venturing away from the familiar and finding home in the unknown. Howrey’s expansive vision left me awestruck’ Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

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