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!
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!
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.