The Astronaut Wives Club

A True Story

Koppel, Lily

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
The Astronaut Wives Club
"Bestselling author Lily Koppel reveals for the first time the stories and secrets of America's unsung heroes-the wives of our original astronauts"-- "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"--

Publisher: New York :, Grand Central Publishing,, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 1455503258
Characteristics: xvi, 271 pages, 16 pages of unnumbered plates :,illustrations (some color) ;,24 cm


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Feb 03, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An interesting story, if a bit on the "People" magazine side-does effectively illustrate the lives of our astronauts and their wives; lots of scandalous stuff, not pornographic. Some parts are very sad, but there seemed to be a desire, if nothing more, between these wives to stick together through life experiences that few wives have. Gossipy more than anything.

Jan 03, 2014
  • zipread rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The Astronaut Wives Club --- by Lily Koppel. I can’t believe I read the whole thing before my wife finished it. She spoiled it for me: she called it chick lit. But never mind. Think 1960s. Think JFK dedicates Americans to the moon before the decade’s end. Think about a different world from the oine we live in. Think no cell phones; no colour tv; no laptops; no a whole bunch of things wew take for granted today. Think ther arms race; think Black September holding the 1972 Olympians hostage; rthink women pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen. And there you’ve got some of the context surrounding this book. It’s a about wives, expected to support their husbands, raise kids, bake cakes, and make nicely withn the press pounding at the doors of Americas newest ueber-heroes. Think about wives expecting to lose their husbands at any moment, living in a goldfish bowl with the world expecting them to be ueber-wives. A recipe for what? Kopopel writes a very interesting story that sheds light on the life of these i)fortunate, ii)stressed, iii)overwhelmed, iv)doted upon, v)neglected, vi)forgotten, vii)totally unprepared, viii)resiliant, ix)touch wives of the space race. An insight into the space race of the 60s and 70s; an insight into the role of the wife of the 60s and 70s.

Nov 20, 2013
  • claireswazey rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this one. It was a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the astronauts and their families. It had some photos, too, which was great. The writing style was lucid and easy to read. Just a fun read.

Aug 27, 2013
  • athompson10 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Interesting story, but after the first- generation "Mercury" astronauts and wives, the storytelling gets blurrier, the characters less distinct, and the author seems to lose any narrative thread.

Aug 19, 2013
  • EliseForgo rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The story is fascinating, but the style in which it was told was just painful for me. Like it couldn't decide if it was a novel or a history book, and the result was just confusing and I never got to the point where I could remember all the meriad of people involved before even more were added.
If you're just looking for the history and some interesting little known facts, you'll get that here. If you're looking for 'story', it might be a bit disapointing.

Aug 02, 2013
  • TracyGuza rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book made the space age really interesting for me since it focused on the astronaut's wives, thrust into the spotlight by their husbands' high profile and risky profession.

The history interspersed throughout (the Cold War, the Kennedys, etc.) paints a rich picture of the country and of women during a time of change (the 1960's).

Jul 17, 2013
  • occy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this non-fiction novel and being given a change to have a glimpse behind the scenes of the astronaut wives of the 50ties and 60ties. It was very simply written and an easy read, almost like the author was discussing it over a cup of coffee with you. A lot has been written about the astronauts themselves but very little was known about their long suffering wives. Each one was different in character, each one had different hopes and fears.

Definitely worth a read if you are interested in that era.

Jul 16, 2013

"Beginning in 1959 with the selection of the first crew members of the Mercury space program, a small group of women who had been ordinary military wives became celebrities. These astronauts' wives had to be perfect representatives of the space program. Everything, down to their clothing and the food they served their families, was scrutinised by NASA. In response, they formed a support group that grew to include the wives of the Gemini and Apollo astronauts and became an essential resource during the stresses of waiting on the ground while their husbands orbited in space - or after spacecraft mishaps. This group portrait offers an intimate and informative view behind the scenes of the space program's early years." July 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter

Jul 04, 2013
  • abotkin rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Too many glaring errors - Nixon was Vice President in 1959,not Senator, McCarthy did not win the 1968 Democratic Primary in NH and the quote is "Soothe the savage breast," not beast. Left me wondering what else was not accurate. In addition, I found the writing to be unimaginative.


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Jun 10, 2014
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

pattyloucor67 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 03, 2014
  • DellaV rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

DellaV thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Jun 10, 2014
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, the astronauts and their wives were like American royalty. Reading about these men and their families was a real joy. these families were just like us and yet not. I enjoyed learning about the quirks, foibles, and faults of these peopleas well as knowing their heroic accomplishments.


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