RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchO’Brien’s book deserves favorable comparison to Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book The Right Stuff. Like Wolfe, who told the story of the Mercury Seven astronauts, O’Brien focuses on the few to tell the story of the many. Also like Wolfe, he pulls his narrative threads from their disparate beginnings—the dusty plains of Wichita, the wealthy enclave of Rye, N.Y., the streets of Boston—and draws them together to lend his story a sense of inevitability if not destiny. And his breathless account of the Bendix race is as dramatic as Wolfe’s description of John Glenn orbiting the Earth three times in 1962. But most importantly, he brings his characters to life ... These are, O’Brien shows, not dusty heroes for history books, but living people whose spirit of competition and friendship broke barriers and helped build an industry. But while the women in Wolfe’s book wait anxiously on Earth, in O’Brien’s they take to the sky. Their story deserves to be told, and O’Brien does it exceptionally well.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe first challenge I faced with the novel was suspending disbelief with Zoe’s \'diary.\' It leaps off the page fully formed, beautiful and literary — not like any diary I have ever kept or read ... The second challenge was the novel’s promotional material ... I am not a Nabokov expert, so I worried that my appreciation of Celt’s novel would be limited. However, as the story unfolded, these concerns slipped away in the magical prose Celt creates.