Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book review: "The Astronaut Wives Club" by Lily Koppel and something "Awesome"!

We prempt this Space Week post with news of an awesome nature. I did an interview with T from Traveling with T, and it goes up today, right here. T is a sweetheart, so head on over and doing some browsing on her blog (especially if you love feel good love stories, she is you're gal!). Then come back here and we will talk space some more. Ready, go!

Hi welcome back. Time for space.

1959 was a turbulent time in the United States, but something happened that year that had the ear of almost all Americans. On April 9 1959 the first American astronauts were announced. These 7 men were going to be the people who took the US to the stars, to explore and to try to overtake the Russians in the space race.

Behind these men were their wives and families. Some were happy families, some were not, but if they wanted their astronaut to go to space they needed to fake it. NASA only wanted brave wonderful men to go to space and then come home to their picture perfect families, that was the idea they wanted to sell to the American people. A lot of these women had sacrificed a lot to support their husbands careers, often living in remote dusty, desert bases while the husbands who worked as test pilots. When they were suddenly swept into NASA's orbit (muck muck muck) everything changed.

So the astronauts are superstars. They had women throwing themselves at them all the time, and it made some of the wives nervous. A lot of them had the right to be, frankly a lot of those guys were running around on their wives with alarming regularity. These astronaut chasing women were referred to as "Cape Cookies". (In the next post there is a more um.....hostile? and hilarious term used for these ladies).

Criticism/Complaint/Concern: This book has not footnotes, bibliography, citing references, anything like that. The book was enjoyable enough but I'd occasionally think "well where did she get that information from?". There is nary a sentence that starts with "In an interview so and so said" or "in this memoir..." Where is she getting all of this information? At first it didn't bother me but towards the end it REALLY started to bug me.

I enjoyed this book, but there were a lot of names to keep track of (what astronaut goes with what wife, etc.) which is kind of inevitable. I liked this book but then as it went on I kind of got distracted by my above stated criticism. I gave it a 3 out of 5.

The Astronaut Wives Club

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