Lilly Koppel, the author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (Harper 2008), has done it again! Her book, The Astronaut Wives Club, is an amazing journey back into a time when Squares stayed square and men walked on the moon.
The A. W. C. as some of the women called themselves. starts off with a list of all the wives, beginning with The Mercury Seven and ending with The Nineteen. Several first hand accounts are told with wit and kindness by Koppel.
The book details how each woman struggled with the celebrity status of being an Astronaut’s wife, NASA, husbands absences, Cape Cookies, (the women who ruined several marriages)children, and unthinkable tragedies while upholding a pristine imagine of a 1950’s house wife. NASA instructed these women to refrain from adding any stress to their husbands while they were training for Space. These women, who on the outside were Proud, Thrilled and Happy, (Their motto) where able to band together and support each other behind closed doors.
Each woman was followed by a reporter from Life magazine, per NASA’s instructions. These reporters were with them from the moment their husbands became Astronauts to when they left NASA or died. Their day to day life was captured in photos for the world to see. But, the real stories where never told to the public. Koppel has captured many of these in her book.
If want to know more about these amazing women, who were the backbone of the Space Race, pick up a copy of this book.
Special thanks to Tiffany Sanchez and Hachette Book Group for sending this fantastic work of art to me.