Customer Reviews for

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story

Average Rating 3.5
( 86 )
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5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

This is a phenomenal book focusing on the wives of famous astron

This is a phenomenal book focusing on the wives of famous astronauts and their own leakage into the world of fame and high society. I really like Lily Koppel's writing style. She keeps the book moving at a quick pace with well developed characters. It was a sheer joy to...
This is a phenomenal book focusing on the wives of famous astronauts and their own leakage into the world of fame and high society. I really like Lily Koppel's writing style. She keeps the book moving at a quick pace with well developed characters. It was a sheer joy to read.

posted by JesseG1 on June 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Troubling Yet Readable. This is an

Troubling Yet Readable. This is an entertaining and fast read on a subject that needs to be explored. The women depicted here were--and are--inspiring. Their stories are full of heartbreak, determination, fear, incredible strength, strong ...
Troubling Yet Readable. This is an entertaining and fast read on a subject that needs to be explored. The women depicted here were--and are--inspiring. Their stories are full of heartbreak, determination, fear, incredible strength, strong friendships, and yes, some humor. What they had to go through in dealing with sudden fame, largely single parenting, dealing with the press, living facades of 'perfect' lives in the public eye, coping with astronaut groupies, infidelity...there is an amazing and important book to be written about these women. Sadly, this is not it. I am really stunned editors let this go the way it is. There are errors in it regarding historical events that should have been checked with a three click Google search; there is no established tone or perspective. The author does not seem able to pin down what tone or view she wants to take so for large chunks in the first half this is written in an almost cheesy way, with 'wink winks' to the reader and vastly annoying reliance on the juvenile exclamation point punctuation that, at times, makes the text read like a student essay. The first half of the book, which concentrates on the original Mercury wives, reads as much lighter (despite their experiences with tragedy and trauma) than the second half that seems to take a different tone: darker, more serious. At one point, the events are related through the perspective of Norman Mailer who had been assigned to interview the wives. There is no transition into this--it just happens. Lack of transitions is another stylistic problem; the text moves between more in depth descriptions and then, suddenly, more anecdotal tidbits. You could get whiplash from the leaping from story to story, tone to perspective. As there are ultimately dozens of people to keep up with, this lack of clear structure becomes a greater problem as our subjects become much harder to keep straight. There is no appendix; there is no documentation of who said what or when. Where did all this come from? The author's notes generally mention she had talked to some of the surviving wives; at least one did not take part--but the others 'shared their memories.' There are pages of quotes but whose memories are we reading? I am very surprised endnotes, internal documentation, footnotes--something--were not used to identify and verify research. Finally, the scope of this is WAY too big for a book under 300 pages. These stories and these women deserve their own 'Right Stuff' and for the first half of the book I thought the Mercury wives were going to get it. It is the most thorough and detailed. But once the author brings in the later generations of astronauts and wives...this either needed to be a much longer text or the scope needed to be narrowed to the original wives. If none of these inconsistencies and questions bothers you--this is a fast, entertaining and very beginning glimpse into these remarkable women's contributions. But the really definitive work has yet to be done, I think.

posted by irishclaireKG on June 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Does not have the WRITE stuff...

    This book was not what I expected from a book featured on NPR. Not only is it poorly written and edited but the tone is misogynistic--not unlike Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff which, by comparison, at least made these women seem like human beings. Sad to think that a female "writer" would not take the time to develop these women's stories beyond some superficial research. Shameful that any editor or publisher would allow thiis to be published as it is and to waste readers' money.
    I lived at Edwards AFB during the early space program. My father was an Air Force engineer who worked on the program. These families were at times their neighbors. All of them were involved in something pretty amazing. This book glosses over their achievements and makes a mockery of the program, the astronauts and their wives. They may have been flawed and caught up in something out of their control, but like most military wives they did it with grace. The perks they received could never compensate for the risks they took on and the hard work involved.
    Bottom line: very bad book, pretty much a waste of time and money.

    14 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    D Burns

    this is probably the most boring, poorly written book I have ever read. Bar none!! The characters cannot be followed, the plot is tedious, and it gives the reader nothing to look forward to. I rarely do not finish a book. Wish I could return it!!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    This could have been a wonderful read. I can't believe such a p

    This could have been a wonderful read. I can't believe such a poorly written book was actually published. The author changed subjects mid-paragraph and often left subjects or thoughts undeveloped.
    The wives were portrayed as one-dimensional and clearly weren't. What a disappointment. THere was a terrific story to be told and this book was superficial at best.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Disappointment

    This book seemed to be written for a teen magazine, with its editorial "wink winks" and breathless qnd gossipy style. Given the important history these women were a part of, I expected a well written account of their lives during the moon exploration years. What I got was a poorly written and poorly edited collection of frequently unrelated anecdotes that were often trivial and uninteresting. The disorganization and numerous characters also made it difficult to keep up with who was who. These women deserved far better; it's shocking to me that its publishers let it go to print this way. They took what should have been a fascinating topic and turned it into a sophomoric mess.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Not recomended-POORLY Poorly written

    Could have been an interesting story but the editing is poor, and the fifties- era stereotype of women is perpetuated by the corny, surface-level writing style.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Great Story Told So Poorly

    What a disappointment! This is one of the most exciting and compelling story of my lifetime and I was really looking forward to this behind the scene perspective. It is perhaps the worst writing ever published. Very limited character or plot development.
    All of a sudden, with none of the very tense build-up that I remember as a 10 year old watching on TV, Neil Armstrong steps on the moon! There was NO mention of him or his wife leading up to this!
    This is just a messy compilation of the writer's notes from chatting and gossiping with these wives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Recommend good read

    Very enjoyable and informative. It was interesting reading about how the women had to cope with the activities of the men and how NASA put restrictions on the

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Dissppointing

    Nothing new here! What a disappointment. The author provided very little information that hasn't been published before. The book lacked a storyline, flow and any style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Wow?

    Sound good

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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