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The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story | [Lily Koppel]

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

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. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, meeting regularly to provide support and friendship. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 the country raced to land a man on the Moon.

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2013 Lily Koppel (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (157 )
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3.9 (138 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Teresa Ipswich, MA, United States 07-21-14
    Teresa Ipswich, MA, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Need photos to keep things straight"
    Any additional comments?

    This is another book where photos might have helped to keep things straight. If you did not grow up in this era or studied the astronaut program you might be a little lost. Loved hearing about it from the wives perspective. I have seen the documentary but was unable to locate it to re-watch it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Pottstown, PA, United States 08-07-13
    Lisa Pottstown, PA, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    40
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    Performance
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    "History at its best...."
    Would you listen to The Astronaut Wives Club again? Why?

    Yes. It was a book that the ending took me by surprise so I would go back and listen again. Also there were so many characters that it was hard keeping them straight.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Astronaut Wives Club?

    Really learning what it was like for thm back in the late 50's and 60's. Most of this is not taught in school and I found seeing it through the womens eyes was fasinating.


    Which character – as performed by Orlagh Cassidy – was your favorite?

    Each character was wonderful but I think Rene was the best. she really showed that just because you were a famous astro wife you could alos fulfill your professional needs as well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Life as an Astro wife..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-02-13
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    "Missed the mark"
    Would you try another book from Lily Koppel and/or Orlagh Cassidy?

    No...


    Would you recommend The Astronaut Wives Club to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. It is short on narrative and long on trite details. It is gossipy in tone..both written and narration.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    YES! The tone became sarcastic when passages were describing the husband's behaviors...much as though a group of unhappy women were sharing their husband's miss-deeds. Very unpleasant to listen to.


    Do you think The Astronaut Wives Club needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It needs a completely new book with more factual information from the wives...more integration into the history of the times.


    Any additional comments?

    I am only 8 chapters into it, and I am already cringing when I hear the narrator quote Kennedy or launch into a male voice. I have not paid much attention to critiques re narration before, but wish I had before purchasing this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.A. Salt Lake City, UT, United States 11-22-13
    J.A. Salt Lake City, UT, United States 11-22-13
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    "A Look Inside the Fishbowl"

    I have always been a fan of the space program and the stories behind how those great men put themselves on top of a "bomb" and said "Light it up!" However, all we knew about the wives was that they were always smiling, always supportive, and nothing could get them down. Thanks heavens for this book. Guess what? They were human beings. They had their own dreams and goals and lives that we knew nothing about.

    I enjoyed this audiobook very much. I loved hearing from their points of view how things did and did not work in both the NASA family and their immediate families. I respected the choices that were made by all the women, whether or not I agreed with them, and I am better for this glimpse into the world of women who were strong, if not stronger, than their husbands because they really had no choice. Well done.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DR READFIELD, ME, United States 11-04-13
    DR READFIELD, ME, United States 11-04-13 Member Since 2008
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    "awful reader"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The reader should have learned how to pronounce the astronaut's names. This was basic.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy T. Kornfeld Ridgefield, CT United States 11-04-13
    Tracy T. Kornfeld Ridgefield, CT United States 11-04-13
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    "not too accurate"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    it was amusing in parts


    Would you recommend The Astronaut Wives Club to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really because it's not very accurate


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Orlagh Cassidy?

    Someone who knows how to properly pronounce "Betty Grissom"


    Do you think The Astronaut Wives Club needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It needs a follow up list of corrections by actually interviewing the original 7's wives instead of using hearsay from other friends and wives. I don't think anyone of the original 7 was actually consulted and their changes adopted


    Any additional comments?

    While somewhat accurate, the book is more a stretch of the facts than accurate

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 08-06-13
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2015

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

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    "Interesting and enjoyable"

    Great story, reasonable writing, and a wonderful recognition of those women who were married to our nation's astronauts during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. Koppel helps you to better learn who each woman was, and how each were impacted by the stresses of being an "astrowife."

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. H. Powitzky Garland, TX USA 07-16-13
    S. H. Powitzky Garland, TX USA 07-16-13
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    "Fascinating! The other side of the story..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who grew up in the age of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo and is a fan of space exploration, "The Right Stuff", "Apollo 13" , "Last Man on the Moon", and other true to life stories about what really went on behind the scenes of the race to beat the Russian's to the Moon! To hear these true stories from the prospective of the wives, is to hear the "real deal", about what went on during those heady years of getting racing to get a man on the Moon!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Astronaut Wives Club?

    What was most amazing to me was how NASA wanted these women to confirm to some unrealistic ideal of the American housewife to maintain an "image", of their squeaky clean Astronaut husbands, and the " perfect" All-American family, while turning the other cheek while many, not all, of these same "American Hero's", were blatantly screwing every thing that walked by on two legs; yet the wives were expected to "maintain an even strain", no matter what with little to now thought or effort to support the wives and families through these uncharted waters.


    Have you listened to any of Orlagh Cassidy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Great book! Highly recommend it to anyone interested in America's Space program or who grew up during the 60's and experienced the thrill of watching rockets launch into space, or man walk on the Moon, while collectively holding their breath with the rest of the world each time that candle was lit and men blasted off into the unknown. Hearing the story of the women who supported, sacrificed and loved them and seeing how they equally served the country in their silent service is a remarkable tale of courage and strength that everyone should hear.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley B Norman, oklahoma USA 06-17-13
    Kelley B Norman, oklahoma USA 06-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Book"
    What did you love best about The Astronaut Wives Club?

    Very enjoyable book, the astronauts from a different point of view. Could have done without the narrator trying to do voices but overall, wonderful narration.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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