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The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by…
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The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Lily Koppel (Author)

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8466718,248 (3.32)45
"As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each other's children by day, while going to glam parties at night. As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives-they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history"--… (more)
Member:benscripps
Title:The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story
Authors:Lily Koppel (Author)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2013), Edition: First Edition, 288 pages
Collections:Books
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Tags:Space

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The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel (2013)

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Though I vaguely remember watching humankinds' first steps on the moon on black-and-white television, I was too young at the time to appreciate the significance of the event, much less consider what it must be like to be a family member of one of the astronauts involved.

"The Astronaut Wives Club" provides a sense of what it was like to be at home, able only to wait and hope, while one's husband (at the time, there were no female astronauts) risked his life in space. Initially focussing on the wives and families of the Mercury Seven, and later expanding as the astronaut pool and the space program increased in scope, the book also provides insight into the lives of the astronauts themselves.

There is both triumph and tragedy within the pages -- as history tells, not all of the missions were successful. Written in an enjoyable style and at the same time demonstrating the results of the author's extensive research, "The Astronaut's Wives Club" was a worthwhile read.
( )
  LisaTimpf | Sep 23, 2020 |
Finally pulling this off the shelf as the end of July and the 50th anniversary of the moonwalk arrived. I found it interesting ,but a bit tedious in parts as it seems to be a recitation of facts and conversations. I am young enough not to know that these families essentially had Life magazine embedded with them for the duration of the space race and how tiring that must have been. A lot of the men chosen, both for their height and their flying abilities were from the armed forces, so a lot of the wives knew exactly how to act--including making hearty breakfasts for the astronaut trainees. They were required maintain a happy, stress free home front--a world separate from the 'rock star' status (and groupies referred to as cape Cookies) their husbands enjoyed while training for missions. I think it could have gone a lot deeper with how the women's movement was starting to change their lives as the Apollo project wound down in the early 70's. Only 7 of the of the core 49 couples didn't get divorced. ( )
  ethel55 | Jul 22, 2019 |
In theory, Astronaut Wives Club is the kind of book I should love: it’s about a topic I find fascinating (space exploration), centers the unsung/unexplored experiences of women, and happens to be a true story. Unfortunately, I walked away thinking this would have been a great magazine article, but, at least as Lily Koppel wrote it, it made a lousy book. This book wants to focus on a wide group of women, and sacrifices pretty much all of its depth to do it. Just when the book would touch on a substantive topic like the toll the missions and public attention took on the wives, it flitted off again to focus on dresses and parties and parades. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pretty party dress as much as the next girl, but that’s not what I picked this book up for. I hope that some author in the future revisits this topic, focusing on 2 or 3 of the wives in a greater detail and recording the psychological and physical toll space exploration took on these women. It would do their contributions to our space program justice in a way this book simply did not. ( )
  Jthierer | Apr 20, 2019 |
DNF. This was terribly written and did not do these women justice. I could not take it anymore!
  kemilyh1988 | Apr 12, 2019 |
It was intriguing to see the women behind the famous men, but none of the wives were very distinct to me. ( )
  Bodagirl | Feb 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Lily Koppel's history tells the story of the women behind the astronauts, from Project Mercury--which launched the first American into space in 1961--to the Apollo program, which landed a man on the Moon eight years later. Focusing on this tight-knit sisterhood offers a new window into America's ambitious age of exploration. It's a fairly comprehensive overview--to both its credit and detriment. While Koppel's thoroughness is impressive, the book often barely skims the surface of these women's lives, and there are so many characters that it's hard to keep them straight. . . . Occasionally a sense of the women's steely strength cuts through, but there's an awful lot of fluff in the way.
added by sgump | editSmithsonian, Chloë Schama (Jun 1, 2013)
 
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For the wives, who have the "right stuff"
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To be an astronaut wife meant tea with Jackie Kennedy, high-society galas, and instant celebrity.
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"As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons. Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a secret. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. Many became next-door neighbors and helped to raise each other's children by day, while going to glam parties at night. As their celebrity rose-and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives-they continued to rally together, and the wives have now been friends for more than fifty years. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history"--

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