Published by Bloomsbury USA on 6/19/2014
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Botanist Jessica Frobisher and her husband Liam live a normal life in their Michigan home until a disaster strikes Liam’s space tourism company, Spaceco. In the midst of legal battles and increasing pressures, Jess and Liam agree to be followed by documentary cameras in hopes of polishing Spaceco’s name. Instead, the cameras capture both the family and the company’s gradual decline.
In a total diversion from common narratives, God is an Astronaut is written completely in Jess’s e-mails to a former colleague without giving readers insight into his responses. Though it takes several pages to get a feel for the style, the format soon takes shape and works well as a sort of quasi diary. Jess gives readers an uninterrupted, unedited and often hilarious account of the events unfolding around her while slowly revealing the secrets that bind her to her colleague and push her away from her family.
With so many pieces of its narrative going off the beaten path—e-mail prose, space tourism, documentarians—God is an Astronaut has the potential to seem completely off the rails. Yet, Foster uses Jess’s honest voice to make the story feel genuine and relateable. Though the novel’s end feels slightly rushed, the journey there is wholly unique and well worth taking.