Challenger Park: A Novel
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Challenger Park: A Novel

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3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  15 reviews

“Compelling and moving…[At the story’s heart] is the mystery of love and the relationship that exists between husband and wife, parent and child.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“[Lucy Kincheloe] is a smart, ambitious woman torn between her career and her family…struggling to figure out what matters to her most.” -- The Washington Post Book World

“A fine, absorbing achievement…...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Ron Charles
I was born the year an American first traveled into space, and I grew up calculating everybody's coolness by how close they were to NASA. My mother had been Alan Shepard's daughter's synchronized swimming coach (middling cool), but my father worked on the systems leading up to the Apollo program, which sent his coolness quotient to the moon. My friends and I drank Tang and used pens that could write upside down because that's what the astronauts did. Little boys (and big ones, too) dreamed of co...more
Lisa
Rarely does a book ring as true as “Challenger Park.” The characters are as real as our friends, family and co-workers. The story ropes us in from the start, but then guides us along rather than pulling tight. The writing is colorful when it needs to be, terse when it needs to be, and invisible when it needs to be - an art in itself.
Harrington strikes all the right notes in his story of astronauts and support crews at NASA, the long, grueling training for a space launch, and the shadow of danger...more
Sarah
Challenger Park. Stephen Harrigan. 2006. Alfred A. Knopf. 397 pages.

Challenger Park by Stephen Harrigan is an AMAZING novel about a woman astronaut named Lucy Kincheloe as she prepares for her first space mission.

Lucy is a mother of two children and married to another astronaut, Brian, whose ego threatens his own future career as an astronaut. In the midst of dealing with her husband's animosity and her son's serious asthmatic problems, Lucy finds herself drifting closer to the trainer for her...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Its first sentence, which puts our heroine at the intersection of NASA Road One and Space Center Boulevard, clearly shows the novel's attention to the minutiae of astronaut life. Reviewers opined differently about the obsessive NASA details; some felt the jargon slowed down what is a very internal narrative about Lucy's struggle to balance career with family__a timeless battle, surely, and one the author handles with admirable delicacy. Lucy's nail-biting propulsion into space is a page-turner,

...more
Adam Bielamowicz
I was drawn to this because it takes place where I grew up. That also is pretty much the only reason it gets two stars. It is pretty cool to read a book that is based on a place you spend 20 years living in, especially when it is as unheralded as Clear Lake, TX. It was also an interesting insight into the day to day lives of astronauts, who are no longer the celebrities they were in the days of going to the moon, but still live quite fascinating lives.

That said, the NASA and Bay Area facade drew...more
Ingrid
Well written book, but deliberate language in a way that is at first sort of hard to get into. The central romantic relationship is at times unbelievable/isn't developed adequately. The author's description of space-related stuff seems quite impressive and lent authenticity and some suspense to the novel.
Tim
I strongly disliked this boring, whiny, too long novel about man-woman relationships, children, marital conflicts and a weak priest of all things. I thought this story extremely annoying. I couldn't wait to finish this just to be done with it...and it exceeded with a mighty disappointing finish.
Sandy
I enjoyed reading about the space center, the training and the missions. I also really enjoyed reading about the places that were mentioned in the book. I wasn't that drawn to the characters, but I'm glad I read the book. It was really fun.
Lori
I loved this book on many levels: the NASA insider info, the portrait of a mediocre marriage, the daily drama of life as a mom.

Throw in a trip to outer space, and there's not much more you can ask for.
Jack
i don't know. this is another unlikely audio book the austin public library has bestowed upon me. so far, i don't hate it, and harrigan is at least writing well about children.
Kris
Interesting description of the space program, but the characters left me a bit annoyed - I wanted more depth than I found.
Julie
The actual space stuff/experiences was very interesting but way to little of the book! The rest was soooooo whiny!
Tao
More of a love story than a space buff book. However, feel a little bit eerie after learned the Lisa Nowak incident.
Diana
This story was slow to build for me, but I really liked the look into the day-to-day lives of astronauts.
Jenn M
Jenn M marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2014
Don
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Apr 04, 2014
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Dec 01, 2013
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Stephen Harrigan was born in Oklahoma City in 1948 and has lived in Texas since the age of five, growing up in Abilene and Corpus Christi.He is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly, and his articles and essays have appeared in a wide range of other publications as well, including The Atlantic, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Audubon, Travel Holiday, Life, American History...more
More about Stephen Harrigan...
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