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High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband Hardcover


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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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,507 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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This is a space story told from a spouse's point of view.
Eric B. Smith
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
Evelyn did a great job explaining the home and family side of Rick Husband.
Bonnie McKinzie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams on February 1, 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 JohnCC on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As I opened the wrapping on Christmas morning I was pleased to receive such a gift from my wife, being the avid reader that I am. Two days later I started reading the book and could not put it down. I simply had to carry on reading because I felt so humbled by Rick Husband. I am a 41 year old and remember vividly when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon back in 1969. Rick Husband, against massive odds, time and time again, pushed through and did it. He never let anything, except his love for God, his family and respect for his fellow man stand in the way.

I am not embarrased to say that I was in tears for most of the second half of the book. More than once I stopped only to reflect on my life and thank God for his mercy, love and grace in my life. I felt Evelyn's pain time and time again. My life will not be the same after reading this book. Thank you so much Evelyn for writing this book.
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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.
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