I was recently given the opportunity to read and review the book Race Across the Sky by Derek Sherman. It’s a novel that combines ultrarunning and biotechnology, and I REALLY enjoyed it. First, here’s the synopsis.
Caleb Oberest is an ultra marathon runner, who severed all ties to his family to race brutal 100-mile marathons across mountains. Shane Oberest is a sales rep for a cutting-edge biotechnology firm, creating new cures for the diseases of our time. Shane has spent his life longing to connect with his older brother, but the distance between them was always too vast.
Caleb’s running group live by strict rules, but Caleb is breaking one of them. He has fallen in love with a new member and her infant daughter. When Caleb discovers that the baby has a fatal genetic disease, he reaches out to Shane. On the verge of becoming a father himself, Shane devises a plan that could save this baby and bring his lost brother home. But to succeed, both brothers will need to risk everything they have. And so each begins a dangerous race that will push them past their boundaries, and take all of Caleb’s legendry endurance to survive.
Caleb’s running group is far more bizarre than just the “strict rules” mentioned. They all live in a house together outside of Boulder, CO. They’re coached by a guy named Mack who orders them to run a specific amount of hours each day, they only have two meals a day and it’s always the same things that Mack has decided are a perfect balance of nutrients. They can have part-time jobs, but anything they earn must be given right back to their coach. They’re not supposed to have relationships with other runners in the house, but as the synopsis mentions… there is a new member of the house, June, and she brings her new baby daughter who has a terrible disease that affects her breathing and will severely limit her life. His developing feelings for both June and her daughter Lily are what spur him to connect with his brother Shane, even though he has been out of touch with family for a long time.
Shane works in the pharmaceutical field, but has just started a new job with a biotechnology company. He and his wife are expecting a new baby at the beginning of the book and the baby is born shortly into the story. I was impressed with his tenacity to work on finding a way to help Caleb, June and Lily… but I also got frustrated at him for how much he left his young family to work on this. I think I was supposed to feel that emotion though.
I was slightly horrified by Caleb’s running group and their practices. If you ever wanted to run an ultra and thought this book would inspire you to complete one, it probably won’t! It’s gritty and rocky, but I that’s what it’s like to run 100 miles on the trails. I’ve been around enough ultras to know that there is a lot about that environment that isn’t storybook. But add in the crazy running group, and it’s a really bizarro world!
I was so sucked into what would happen to the baby, Lily. I was curious how everything would work out, if the brothers would be able to regain their familial connections.
This book was great entertainment and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend it to any runner, but even beyond that to anyone looking for a good read!
Race Across the Sky Official Website
I get to give away 3 copies of this book. Just comment on the post and tell me what your favorite book is! I’ll randomly select the winners this weekend! Extra entries can be earned by following me or author Derek Sherman on Twitter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received this book as part of a virtual book tour. Make sure to check out TLC Book Tour’s post on this to check out the other bloggers participating.
Thanks for the review, always nice to hear about new adventure books! Currently I am reading Sarah Outen’s “A Dip in the Ocean” and while not related to running it is certainly about adventure.
My favorite book of all time is “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, not really running related (although he does have to run for his life a number of times).
But for running, I thoroughly enjoy “The Perfect Mile” by Neal Bascomb. It describes the lives of three runners (Roger Bannister, John Landy and Wes Santee) and their quest to break the 4 minute mile. I wonder about the scientists at the time believing that it was impossible to break that barrier because our physiology wouldn’t let us. I marvel at how Bannister held together all his studies, clinicals and work and yet somehow trained enough for this. And how the other runners and coaches (including Percy Cerutty) pushed each other even though they were in entirely different continents. In and out, the tales intertwine and Bascomb does a fantastic job of keeping you involved and wondering who is going to break the barrier first!
Again, thanks for the review, I look forward to seeing more from you in the future!
The Perfect Mile… added to my to-read list!
A Dip in the Ocean sounds great too, I just looked that one up!
This sounds interesting and suspenseful. It’s so hard to pick a favorite book! For all time, it would probably be “The Borrowers” from my childhood. Of running-related books, I really enjoyed Scott Jurek’s recent memoir, “Eat and Run.”
Oh what fun! Lessee… My favorite book? It has to be The Princess Bride. It’s just great classic comfort food. I also love Fahrenheit 451 because it’s so interesting, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, and the Time Travelers Wife. Currently, I’m torn between starting Infinite Jest and Casual Vacancy. Books are the best!
I don’t run anywhere at all and I’m sort of horrified and awed by marathon runners. I hadn’t even HEARD of ultra-marathoning until this book … I’m way out of the loop.
I’m glad you enjoyed this unusual story! Thanks for being on the tour.
Aw… we’re not so horrifying! 🙂
I loved this book. Read Race Across the Sky today!
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