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High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband Hardcover – January 11, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; First Edition edition (January 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785261958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785261957
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this memoir, Evelyn Husband describes how her husband, Rick, commander of the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia, grew up longing to be an astronaut; how his dream came true; and how it ended with his death in Columbia's explosion in February 2003. At its best, this account (co-written with popular novelist VanLiere, of The Christmas Shoes) puts a human a face on the space program, particularly the sacrifice required to become an astronaut. Details about NASA, quotes from Rick's journal, and interviews with those who knew him add depth. But this is at its heart a story of Christian faith; as Rick's career developed, he grew from a nominal believer into one who would write, in the last day of his journal, "Lord-I want to do Your will and I want to be a godly man." Evelyn details Rick's virtues, but does not sufficiently explain his faults; for example, she reveals that he told her something about himself fairly early in their marriage that shook her up badly, but she doesn't even hint at what it is. It's tough for readers to appreciate his redemption without knowing his sin. A Columbia teamwork-building exercise weighs the story down; the final chapters also need trimming. But scenes of Evelyn and her children (ages 12 and 7) learning of Rick's death, and relying on God help them cope with it, radiate honesty and power. This kind of specificity helps the memoir rise above the level of hagiography.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Evelyn Husband is the wife of Rick Husband, commander of the ill-fated Columbia Space Shuttle that went down on February 1, 2003. She is the mother of two children.

Donna VanLiere is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Hope books and Angels of Morgan Hill. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband and three children.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
He was a good husband and father.
Karla anderson elma washingtonu.s.a
If ever you doubted God's hand in everyday life, I know you'll feel differently after reading Rick Husband's life story.
D. Williams
And that may be what the book is meant for from the beginning.
Kathryn Wood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Randi on January 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Evelyn Husband writes about her husband's life and faith during a time when I would still be in bed, crying. Her ability to use humor as she tells about their life together is a testiment to the faith she professes in High Calling. The writing is simple, but the people she talks about (not just her husband) are anything but. I found it very comforting to find out, through her walk through of what led up to the launch of the Columbia, that the explosion wasn't just a random, freak accident, but an answer to the earnest prayers of two godly men. The life of Rick Husband is proof that you don't have to "look out for number 1" or "take care of yourself first" to achieve your dreams, as people today would have you believe. I think anyone, whether you love space or not, would find inspiration in Rick's story. Thank you, Evelyn.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie McKinzie on April 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Evelyn did a great job explaining the home and family side of Rick Husband. Yes, she was proud of his accomplishments but also listed some of his faults which was refreshing. NASA is not easy on its men and women and Evelyn made that very clear while not blaming them for Rick's death, either. Rick's determination and his resolve were certainly tested but his faith and drive never faltered. All in all the book gives a well rounded view of life as an astronaut as told through the eyes of the one closest to him, his wife. I congratulate Evelyn for her brave tribute to Rick and his 6 very close friends who met death the same day and in the same manner. Thanks, Evelyn.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I can't think of a more touching way to share the legacy of a man than by sharing his personal story with the world. Evelyn Husband has done a wonderful job in telling her husband Rick's story, from his childhood dream of space exploration to his days training as an astronaut. With a wonderful blend of personal memories, recollections of friends, and passages from his journal, High Calling is truly a saga worth reading. If ever you doubted God's hand in everyday life, I know you'll feel differently after reading Rick Husband's life story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mavo on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book showed how to live until the day you die and how not to let anything stand in the way of God's appointed purpose for your life. She explained that she may not understand God's plan for Rick's life, but that she is not bitter toward God because of the history of God's faithfulness, provision and grace. She makes you realize that Jesus knows our pain because of his pain of dying on the cross.
I loved this line regarding his commander abilities: Leadership is not only about what you do, but what you do next.
My favorite part of the book is the letter Kathie Scobee Fulgham, Dick Scobee's daughter from the Challenger disaster, sent the children of the Columbia victims. Beautiful, beautiful writing!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on May 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book provides both an account of the Columbia breakup in February 2003 as well as Rick Husband's wife and childrens' reaction to the tragic loss of their husband and father. The book begins with the family expectantly waiting for Columbia to land, then sensing that something is wrong based on the behavior of the people near the landing site. We then learn of Rick's life, and how the family's faith in Jesus Christ had been so important in their lives. We also learn how Evelyn Husband had to tell her children that their father had tragically died.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Waterhouse on September 22, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Evelyn Husband's book 'HIGH CALLING' is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, for despite the uniqueness and very public nature of the Space Shuttle 'Columbia' tragedy, it highlights the personal nature of sudden loss and grief which everyone who has experienced it knows. Whether by accident,
loss of a loved one thru illness, or even a broken marriage by betrayel, the pain of sudden loss is often overwhelming, and Evelyn's testimony of faith shining thru as her achor is such an inspiration, having experienced personal tragedy in my own life.
But as Evelyn Husband shares so openly, only her faith in Jesus Christ gave her the ability to cope in the face of such public mind numbing loss, that God truly is a present help in time of need for all those who will cry out to Him.

Her book also higlights what really matters most in life; our relationships! For what does it profit anyone to rise to great success at the expense of one's family, and Evelyn's story of Rick getting his priorities right is such a profound challenge for any man wanting to get his life in right balance - God first,then family, and finally one's career; a timely challenge for many men to follow Rick's example.

As for inspiration, Evelyn's declaration of Rick's belief in God as author of the cosmos is so refreshing in the face of so much scientific agnosticism and unbelief, and being an astronomy author myself who believes in God as Creator of the cosmos,
Rick's own testimony about the magnificent splendour in God's creation is a welcome affirmation which warmed my heart.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eric B. Smith on February 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Three reasons to read Evelyn Husband's biography about Rick Husband:
1. Learn more about the final commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
2. This is a space story told from a spouse's point of view.
3. Witness Rick and Evelyn Husband's Christian faith.
I purchased this book to learn more about Rick Husband. I should have expected that the book would tell of the current space program from a spouse's perspective. Most importantly, she describes Rick's journey with Christ. In the telling, she witnesses for Christ, too.
There are no indictments against NASA in this book. The author bluntly states that she harbors no ill will towards NASA. She has faith that Rick Husband would not have remained in the program if he had any concerns of risk management at NASA.
Overall, "High Calling" is a faith story. The first half is tragic. Rick Husband's life is described while the reader knows how it will end. The last half is Evelyn Husband's testimony to being a widow of a national televised disaster. My heart ached as she described her family's life since 9:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003. Thank goodness she has been granted some lighter moments. Her tale of using the President's handkerchief to wipe her son's nose brought a smile back to me.
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