Title and Author: The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton
Publisher: Bitingduck Press
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Pages: 285 pages
Kid-rating: I should be taking notes on this. I don’t remember anything that was inappropriate for younger readers, but this is definitely about and for adults.
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
(from GoodReads) For Lela White, a Houston sleep lab technician, sleep doesn’t come easy—there’s a price to be paid for a poor night’s sleep, and she’s the judge, jury, and executioner. Everyone around Lela considers her a private woman with a passion for her lab work. But nighttime reveals her for what she is: a woman on a critical secret mission. Lela lives in the grip of a mental disorder that compels her to break into astronauts’ homes to ensure they can sleep well and believes that by doing so, she keeps the revitalized U.S. space program safe from fatal accidents. What began at the age of ten when her mother confessed to blowing up the space shuttle has evolved into Lela’s life’s work. She dreads the day when an astronaut doesn’t pass her testing, but she’s prepared to kill for the greater good. When Zory Korchagin, a Russian cosmonaut on loan to the U.S. shuttle program, finds himself drawn to Lela, he puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch. As Lela’s universe unravels, no one is safe.
Right from the get-go, the extremely unreliable narrator, Lela, is clearly NOT RIGHT — and I kept turning page after page, following her descent, finding myself worried for my own sanity. What was real? What wasn’t? I thought I knew, and was fooled several times.
The explosion of the Challenger was a moment that I remember pretty clearly from when I was in 8th grade (ironically, the age of my own boys), and I know that many people were affected by the disaster — but not quite in the same way as the main character of this book. The way in which this situation warped her, was fascinating.
The Trajectory of Dreams was well-written and a great read from a debut author.