Annie Fisk—an only child in Los Alamos, New Mexico—spends a lot of time investigating the treasure trove of objects at the back of her garden. Her father, with whom she is close, works long hours on the nuclear bomb project, her mother seems distant and preoccupied, and Annie has trouble making friends. But she is a gifted student, and she leaves home to major in physics and astronomy at a Texas college. At around the same time, she becomes romantically involved with Evelyn, an artist.
Yet Annie’s sights are set on the stars—more specifically, NASA, where the Apollo Project is underway. She graduates in 1962 and, against Evelyn’s objections, heads for Houston, where she lands a job as a secretary—it’s the 1960s, after all, and that’s what women are expected to do. There she meets Norman Gale, a relationship that opens up her future both professionally and personally.
But it’s Annie’s past, more than her present, that holds her back. And in this beautifully written debut novel, Isa Arsén ties all the disparate threads together in a unique and surprising way.
Isa Arsén lives in South Texas with her husband and a comically small dog. When not writing, she is an audio engineer for interactive media. Shoot the Moon ((G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2023), 2023) is her debut novel.
C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and three other novels. Her latest book, Song of the Storyteller, appeared in January 2023.