Intelligent but isolated recent physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. Her childhood memories dimmed by loss, she has left behind her home, her family, and her first love in pursuit of intellectual fulfillment. When she finally lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, the work is everything she dreamed, and while she feels a budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t get distracted. Not now.
When her inability to ignore mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her doubts and reach beyond the limits of time and space?
Affecting, immersive, and kaleidoscopic, Shoot the Moon tells the story of one singular life at multiple points in time, one woman's quest to honor both her head and her heart amid the human toll of scientific progress.
About the Author
Isa Arsén is a certified bleeding heart and audio engineer based in South Texas, where she lives with her spouse and a comically small dog. She’s published several shorts and pieces of experimental interactive media. Inspired by her own childhood summers in New Mexico, Shoot the Moon is her debut novel.
One of BookBub’s Best Books for Fall
"[A] brilliant debut." —BookBub
"If you're looking for a book club pick, this is it. Isa Arsén's debut . . . is drawing comparisons to Lessons in Chemistry and The Time Traveler’s Wife." —Country Living
"Moving . . . As [Annie] attempts to shatter the glass ceiling at NASA, an anomaly at the space center pushes Annie to rethink her past. . . . The strange discovery provides a surprising and dramatic twist that connects the multiple time lines and provides much food for thought.” —Booklist
"Innovative . . . Arsén expertly navigates the back-and-forth of the story’s time-travel events, threading them into the highlights of women’s scientific achievements. Readers who relish strong female leads will be riveted." —Publishers Weekly
"Explorations of love, loss, science, and the edges of the universe and what is—and is not—possible in the space-time continuum collide in this story; it's reminiscent of the thoughtfulness, matter-of-fact science, and female strength of Connie Willis’ well-known time traveling series beginning with Doomsday Book (1992) as well as the world portrayed in Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures (2016). A delightful and surprising story of a woman drawn through life by curiosity." —Kirkus Reviews
"A romantic and dazzling journey into the mystery of time, space, grief and loneliness. Arsen's knowledge of mathematics and physics is truly impressive, and brings authenticity to the world of exploration she has captured. A lovely debut." —Charlotte McConaghy, author of Migrations
"A uniquely tender and beautiful book.....A novel of wonder and in-betweens that asks us to consider grief, hope, love, and ambition in equal measure." —Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation
"Utterly original and overflowing with love in its purest form, Shoot the Moon is a one-of-a-kind journey through space, time and history." —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Daughter
"Part historical fiction, part science fiction, part moving love story, Isa Arsén’s Shoot the Moon will surprise you at every turn. Prepare yourself: Shoot the Moon is a book like no other." —Jennie Fields, author of Atomic Love
"A stunning, intimate tale of emotional and intellectual courage, the bravery it takes to face the unknown—especially in our own hearts. Daring, intelligent and wonderfully detailed, Shoot the Moon is the space race novel I didn't even know I was looking for!" —Claudia Cravens, author of Lucky Red
"A deep, bold, and crackling smart debut. In the vein of Hidden Figures and The Glass Universe, Shoot the Moon is a complex speculative literary novel imbued with physics and math, but also love and loss and trauma. Arsén will break your heart and light all of the neural pathways of your brain on fire." —Yume Kitasei, author of The Deep Sky
"Arsén lures us in with science, keeps us guessing, and surprises us at every turn. And like the moon in the title, the story circles round to a completion we couldn't have seen until it appeared, full and shining." —Virginia Hartman, author of The Marsh Queen
"In prose precise as a lucid dream, Isa Arsén leads us through the empty spaces of the atmosphere and the heart, and offers a loving geometry of the ways we find our place in both." —Kathe Koja, author of The Cipher