This masterpiece must have taken years to write, for it encompasses a vast resource of research and memories. The narration, though lengthy, is never tiresome, and introspection is as valuable here as dialogue. The ending is touching, as it should be, but holds one or two surprises. Watch here. Download and read an extract from The Moon Field. Buy The Book Here. A poignant story of love and redemption, The Moon Field explores the loss of innocence through a war that destroys everything except the bonds of human hearts.
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One moving story concerned my great grandfather, Private Archibald Brunton, and his closest friend. Archibald managed to salvage a few of the letters to return to the girl but kept the box, with its deadly hole, to spare her feelings. The family has it still. The idea of soldiers carrying letters, and sometimes objects from home, as treasured talismans, resurfaced as I embarked on writing this novel. We meet each of these objects in the course of the novel, starting with the painting.
George Farrell, a young postman, carries it in his breast pocket as he cycles through the Cumberland fells, intending to give it as a love token to Miss Violet, the daughter at the Manor House. I n young George Farell is a postman in the Cumberland fells, and he has fallen in love with Violet, lovely daughter of the Manor — they met when she was taking a photograph, and formed a tentative friendship based on their passion for art.
But on the day George dares to bring Violet the gift of a painting, he discovers that she is in love with someone else — Edmund Lyne, glamorous brother of an upper-class schoolfriend. George joins the Army and finds himself serving in the same battalion as his rival, and gradually getting close to him. When George is wounded he goes home to Cumbria convinced that no woman will be able to love him. Kate Saunders The Times 18th Jan ———————— T he Moon Field is a moving story of the innocence, joy and pain of young love and of a changing society in a world altered forever, told through understated yet powerful prose.
A white vapor cloud suddenly billowed around the rocket perched on the Cape Canaveral launch pad.
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In less than two hours, three astronauts were supposed to climb into the rocket. This was the mission that would take Americans to the moon. Engineer Stephen Coester was in charge of the hydrogen propellant loading team—and that leaking valve. Standing at his console in a starched white shirt and tie, Coester still looked like an eager kid at But even with so much on the line, he kept a clear head.
Stephen Coester, pictured second from right. Despite his youth, Coester was already accustomed to remaining calm in the face of setbacks. Naval Academy, but the onset of a serious heart condition had cut short his naval career as an engineering officer for the Civil Engineer Corps.
Not one to let a dramatic turn shake his resolve, Coester had sent his resume to Boeing, where he soon became a contractor on Project Apollo. That personal setback was nothing compared to a hydrogen gas leak waiting to blow. Up until then, the NASA computer had been running the show. Now Coester and his colleagues would have to override that programming, fix the leak, and manually finish fuelling the rocket from their consoles. But Coester put that out of his mind. All eyes were on Coester and his crew to find a solution.
Failure was not an option. Launch Control decided to send a red crew—three technicians and a safety person—to the launch pad to fix the leak.
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It was a dangerous mission; even an incompletely fueled rocket is like a bomb. The minimum safe distance from a loaded Saturn V was three and a half miles. As the crew approached the launch pad, Coester watched them on the Firing Room screen, headset on and ready to coach them. The vapor cloud had cleared, but the problem had not. The leaking valve was a simple piece of machinery on the red tower adjacent to the Saturn V rocket, just two main pieces and bolts holding them together. Then he told them to clear the area. Meanwhile, all he could do was wait for the crew to get back. The Firing Room was tense.
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When the red crew had returned, the lead engineer, Jack Kramer, pressed the button to restart the flow. A white cloud issued from the valve. Dawn was just around the corner. Coester had exhausted the predictable fixes. Now he and the crew would have to use their imaginations.
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He was good at what he did—the best. But he was also making history. He rode the shaky elevator all the way to the top. He could smell the Atlantic Ocean to the east, but when he looked beyond the lights of the launch pad, the coast was a vast stretch of darkness. Coester went about his work, touching every joint in every line on the hydrogen system, out across the swing arms to the vehicle.
Then he returned to the elevator, rode down a level, and did it all again—checking all the valves, just looking at everything. When he returned to the ground, he took a moment to stand at the foot of the massive rocket and look up. He thought about what it meant to be alone up on that tower.
The astronauts had arrived at the base of the tower. Someone had to pull out a genius idea, and fast.