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Space Paperback – February 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042516683X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425166833
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,516,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Novelist Jesse Lee Kercheval's sentences are so precise, her portrait of her troubled family so compelling, her description of children's complex social maneuvering so astute, that it takes a while to realize that her tender memoir of growing up in Cocoa, Florida, is also a masterful snapshot of America in the late 1960s. The family moved from Washington, D.C., to Florida in 1966 because Kercheval's father had accepted a position as business manager of the local junior college, his ticket to a decent civilian career after 30 years in the army. The author's mother, who loved her job at the Treasury Department, was less enthusiastic; during their years in Cocoa she drifted deeper and deeper into depression. Without writing a dogmatic word, Kercheval paints a painful picture of a woman agonizingly frustrated by being denied the employment opportunities her intelligence merited. Older sister Carol responded by becoming the responsible one, trying to make everything better; Jesse dreamed of going "far enough and fast enough to become a new and better person." So why is the book entitled Space? Well, Cape Canaveral was only miles from Cocoa, but to appreciate the superbly woven web of fact, metaphor, and dreams that makes the space program so central here, you'll have to read Kercheval's beautiful book. --Wendy Smith

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By julio desangles on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
My mom first brought me this book and when I saw the title and cover I thought to myself "this is going to be one the most dull books I will ever read ! But then, of course ,I started reading it and I could not stop. It was one of the best and interesting book I have ever read. in this book they talk about all the space missions but there is more to it than that! It also talks about a girls life from the time she was a little girl till she is an adult ! If you like biographies then you will just adore this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Corn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Perhaps it was because this book brought back so many memories of growing up in the 60's - or perhaps it was because this writer's words and storytelling skills are superb- for whatever reason, I absolutely loved this book. Kercheval moved to Florida as a child and found it an exotic place at first, with the endless vistas of sand and sea and the pastel colored houses. But there was a darker side to life in Florida, including a mother who began to fade away emotionally, getting lost in her own emotional darkness, an older sister who was forced to assume her mother's responsibilities and a father who couldn't face his wife's illness. Although I'm sure many readers will nod their heads in recognition of the major events (the Space Race, President Kennedy, the public fascination with Jacqueline Kennedy) which Kercheval recounts from that period, she also reveals the unique, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, life in her family. She writes so vividly and so well that I didn't want this book to end. I felt close to each member of her family, flaws and all. But mostly I felt entranced by the special world Kercheval brought to life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Space" is quite readable and entertaining, but all the people who plan to buy the book because it is about space, or rockets, or Cape Canaveral, should buy something else. How Ms. Kercheval remembers all this stuff from when she was nine is beyond me, and it was also a little confusing how she kept switching years ahead: in one chapter she'd be thirteen, than fifteen in the next. And her older years went by very quickly- she'd describe other things in detail, but I got the feeling that by the last chapters she just wanted to wrap it up. All in all, it was fun, in a depressing way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found the author captured in a precise way the way it was to grow up during the infant space age. More importantly, she related in a matter of fact way how it was to grow up in a dysfunctional family. I believe many (especially women) of us instantly connect and understand her experience.
This was a quick read (I started and finished in two evenings). The pet stories were hilarious. I felt the ending was a bit hurried, but all in all felt it was a very worthwhile endeavor. I'm better for having read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I got this book on a whim--just saw it in the store, and I am glad I did. It was a fun, quick read. I did not want to put it down. I recommend this book to anyone who wants some light,funny,entertaining summer reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Schmitt on October 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
A great memoir of Jesse Lee's Life. The book is both funny and moving. But in the end it seems rushed and like she just wants to end the book. All in all I would highly recomend this book.
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