Friday, July 19, 2013

Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

I loved the cover of this book:
The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story
Grand Central Publishing
Not only was the cover wonderful, but the content was great! Koppel looks at the Astronaut wives from the Mercury 7 all the way through the Apollos. Most of the focus seems to be on the original wives, but that is where she received most of her material. Like the author, I can't believe that these women have never been covered in their own book or really even books. Their lives are equally as fascinating as their famous husbands or in most cases ex-husbands. The life of an astronaut took its toll on the marriages, because of the Cape Cookies, dangerous situations, and feelings of abandonment. The wives all felt "proud, happy, and thrilled," but at the same time had to struggle with being single parents, a barrage of reporters, and NASA's strict rules with no psychiatric help. Koppel was able to interview many of the wives and for the wives who have already passed, the other wives shared their stories. At times the coverage felt too brief, but Koppel had some great stories and made this a very readable history of the women. I think she could have made this 600 pages, but it works really well as a popular history. The history side of me would love to have seen some footnotes and a list of sources used, but this is mainly an oral history, so I can let that go. :) Awesome book about the brave women who gave their all to get man to the Moon! Everyone should read this and remember that behind every great astronaut there was a great woman. 5 cups of cocoa!!

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