"The Last Pilot" may be Benjamin Johncock's first book, but it reads like he's a seasoned pro, with descriptions and dialogue so rich that it's impossible not to get invested in the book's characters.
The protagonist is a man named Jim, who is a test pilot in the Air Force. The book is set in the 1940s - 1960s, with NASA newly formed and space exploration on the forefront of everyone's mind. Jim is offered a plum job with NASA, but turns it down so he can spend time with his wife and newborn daughter. But when his daughter dies at only 2 years old, Jim's life turns dark. Not knowing how to deal with this immense loss, he volunteers for another NASA mission, flying to the moon.
At its core, this is a novel about love, faith and what makes life worthwhile. It's about what it means to be human, and fall short of what people --- and yourself --- expect. You may cry, but this story is worth every tear.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence