Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book 29 of 52: The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Well, this was a disappointment. I got suckered in by the cool topic, media buzz, and the fact that a book was on the New York Times Best Seller list. But as The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Storyshows, these things do not always a guarantee of a good read.

The Astronaut Wives Club is the true story of the women behind the men who flew on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space missions. Most were stand-by-your-man military wives who found themselves pushed into public view, never more so than when their husbands launched, and the press camped out on their lawns.

This should be fascinating, right? These women were plucked from obscurity because of their husbands, right as the women's movement started. There were stories of infidelity, and most couples ended up divorced. But no, The Astronaut Wives Club is a bland. It's like a bug that skates on the surface of the pond. I kept wanting it dive in and get wet. Halfway through, I started wondering if Koppel had even talked to these women or relied on previously published reports. She reveals in the last chapter that she did - I was even more disappointed.

Maybe she should have focused on the wives from just one group of missions; or maybe one woman. But this is just too much of a skim of a lot of important women for it to be worth recommending to you, dear readers.

What I really want to read? A memoir by Rene Carpenter. She sounds like my kind of woman.

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