Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Women Left Behind

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

After that very busy weekend I'm spending some time at home and thanks to some less than seasonal weather I've spent a lot of the time not at work reading.  This was helped by a huge stack of my library reservations arriving in time for this weekend.

From reading back through my review and holiday posts it is clear that I have an interest in space history and it feels like I've been waiting for months for this book, it was the first one I grabbed from the pile and I spent all of Sunday reading it.

Whilst I enjoyed the book I am glad that it was just a library copy, I think because I have read so many of the astronaut's books I knew most of the stories recounted here, and often the men had recounted them in less politic terms!

I very much liked the learning about how the women felt their behaviour was an important influence on the trajectory of their husbands' careers, and also about the infighting between the wives of the different astronaut classes but for me the book rarely felt deeper than an interview in a women's magazine.

Perhaps the author had become too friendly with the women so didn't feel a warts and all book was possible? Perhaps in broadening the book out to all of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo wives there was just too much material.

The book was enjoyable, the photos lovely but for someone with such a keen interest I found it just a little superficial, perhaps after all it is the technical detail that I like as much as the personal story?

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