The Wanderers is a beautiful story that revolves around three astronauts that are training to become the first to travel to Mars. It shares an intimate point of view from each of them – Helen, Sergei, and Yoshi – as they prepare and go through the motions to make their dreams a reality. The story is furthered by giving us a look into the lives of the people closest to these astronauts and how they’re affected by the people they love most being away for long periods of time, not being able to be near them, to talk to them or truly interact.
As you might expect from a book like this, the characters go through a wide range of emotions as they try to process the Mars expedition, each in their own way. The astronauts torn between a world that they’ve known their whole lives filled with friends and family or helping to make history on an all-new planet that no one has ever set foot on. For the astronauts, the choice is simple but complicated and riddled with consequences that we see played out during the book.
It’s a beautifully crafted story that fans of books like Station Eleven will enjoy. The Wanderers is a quiet story that never really reaches a climax of any sort and is more of a slice of life from many perspectives, all in relation to the same event. The story revolves around these three extraordinary people – Helen, Yoshi, and Sergei – going into space but the journey is the setting for all of them, including their family members, figuring out little parts of themselves along the way.
One of the things they need to learn is about love and how one can love someone more than anything in the world and still want to leave them behind to explore what’s beyond. How love comes in many different shapes and sizes and that regardless of what form it takes, love is love no matter what.
I’ll admit though that I was hoping for a little bit more of an edge to the story. Around page 320 (of 380 or so), I began to wonder how they were going to wrap up what I thought they would cover within the book and I realized that they wouldn’t. The story would go in a different direction than I originally though when I started it. It’s not bad, but going back to a comparison of something like Station Eleven, I thought the quiet moments throughout the story would leave to a big revelation of some sort in the end and that moment just never came for me. I think it disappointed me a little bit but ultimately I enjoyed the journey along the way, learning about the rich characters that Meg Howrey constructed within this story and have to keep in mind that for her, that’s what it was more about.
Buy it! The Wanderers is a beautiful story about what makes us human and how we connect with other people. It’s about the different faces we have and how we choose to be to one person vs another and a million other things that ultimately lead to a really interesting look at people as a whole.
Pick up this book for a reflection on the world and those within it.
The Wanderers will be in stores on March 14, 2017.