Teaser Tuesdays: The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The idea is to open your current read to a random page and share a few sentences. And try not to include spoilers!


I am pleased with this newly-released work of nonfiction focusing on the wives of the first astronauts (and their immediate successors). A developing reading niche of mine is what I am calling “biographies of little-known women in history,” and this qualifies. To set the tone:

The wives pored over their fifteen-page “Seven Brave Women Behind the Astronauts” spread. Through touching up and editorial tinkering, Life had transformed seven very different, complicated women into perfect cookie-cutter American housewives. There was not a whiff of domestic turbulence.

What is written boldly between these lines is that there was domestic turbulence, right? Nothing horrendous (that I’ve encountered so far, at least), but the point is that the program that employed the astronauts in question began in 1959, and thus the all-American, 1950’s, dimples-and-apple-pie version of family life was paramount. These women were expected to exemplify that image, for the sake of their husbands and their country. And that’s really something: a daunting challenge, I think.

One Response

  1. I’m looking forward to reading this one… hope my library hold comes in soon. Koppel’s previous book, The Red Leather Diary, was very good, too.

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