After September 11th, 2001 Caleb Oberest left his successful finance job in New York City to join a group of secluded ultramaraton runners living in Boulder, Colorado. Cut off from their families and much of society, members of the Happy Trails Running Club devote their lives to competing in 100-mile marathons through treacherous terrain. In San Francisco, Caleb's brother Shane is moving from selling pharmaceutical drugs to working with a biotechnology company when he hears from his brother for the first time in nearly ten years. Breaking one of the running club's rules, Caleb has fallen in love with another member and is desperate to find a cure for her infant daughter's fatal genetic disease, something Shane is unsure he is able to do with a new baby and family of his own.
While Race Across the Sky may seem like a novel about marathon runners and drug companies, its core is much deeper and more intricate. Sherman manages to use two science-centered topics to hold up the inner workings of his book; themes of family, morality, and truth, which feel incredibly human. As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that he has a talent for finding and highlighting the beauty in small, seemingly insignificant moments that others might miss.
Despite the fact that I am definitely not a runner or a scientist, I found myself begging for just one more chapter through my whole reading experience. Though their situations and lives are extreme, Sherman's characters feel undoubtedly real and they are hard to let go of. Race Across the Sky is a wholly original, well researched and beautifully executed debut that should be in the hands of as many readers as possible.