Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Astronaut Wives Club
Cover of The Astronaut Wives Club
The Astronaut Wives Club
A True Story
Borrow Borrow

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.

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.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Lily Koppel is the bestselling author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (Harper, 2008). She has written for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Huffington Post, and Glamour.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine This behind-the-scenes chronicle of the wives of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts is a poignant story about relationships and the effects of celebrity. Narrator Orlagh Cassidy's appealing tone recounts the history of the U.S. space program while capturing the difficulties of the "astro-wives," who were portrayed by NASA as perfectly poised and supportive no matter the situation or the intrusiveness of the press. Rendering the many scenes of the women interacting, Cassidy skillfully reveals their complex relationships. Her straightforward delivery depicts the isolation the wives experienced due to their husbands' absence--despite their connectedness with one another. This work offers a real-life depiction of a community of women that is light-years ahead of reality television. K.C.R. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 8, 2013
    In this entertaining and quirky throwback, journalist Koppel (The Red Leather Diary) revisits the ladies who cheered and bolstered their men to victory in the U.S. space program from the late ’50s through early 1970s, revealing public triumph and rarely private agony. Koppel looks at the history of the race to space, starting with the Mercury Seven of April 1959, and focusing on the wives: e.g., Louise Shepard (wife of Alan), Betty Grissom (Gus) and Annie Glenn (John), young women who wore teased hair, bright lipstick, and cat-eye sunglasses, and towed numerous small children. The wives had to be gracious to the Life magazine reporters who invaded their homes, concealing unpleasant domestic details, such as marital discord, philandering husbands, and unseemly competition with other wives. The wives were invited to live at or near the Langley, Va., Air Force base, where the astronauts trained before relocating to Houston (aka Space City, USA) in 1962; the women socialized with each other, toured the White House with Jackie Kennedy, and watched their husbands’ launches on TV together over champagne and cigarettes. Some missions ended in tragedy, such as when a failed test flight in 1967 resulted in the deaths of Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. The Gemini and the Apollo missions followed, compelling the wives of legendary astronauts Collins, Aldrin, and Armstrong, among others, to endure seeing their husbands go on dangerous moon missions. This is truly a great snapshot of the times. Agent: Larry Weissman.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2013
    Best-selling author Koppel on the wives of America's "Mercury Seven" astronauts and their role in effectively advertising the space program.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2013

    In her newest work, Koppel (The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal) takes up the story of the wives of astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects (with references to wives of astronauts from Space Shuttle missions as well). Her engaging narrative provides an in-depth look at military wives who became instant celebrities when their husbands were chosen for the space program. Along with the fame came intense media scrutiny; the wives felt pressured to compete for Stepford-wife-like perfection. The inability to publicly admit to concerns or problems made them turn to each other for support. Through death, infidelity, and scandalous divorce, these women have formed a network of strength and friendship. Koppel interviewed many of these women and attended one of their regular reunions. VERDICT The author's aim was to uncover the real lives behind the "perfect" astronaut wives, and she hits the mark, crafting an exceptional story that seriously examines the imperfection and humanity of America's heroic astronauts, their wives, and their families. This work will hold vast appeal for armchair historians, and those interested in feminism, women's history, and 20th-century history.--Crystal Goldman, San Jose State Univ. Lib., CA

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2013

    Best-selling author Koppel on the wives of America's Mercury Seven astronauts and their role in effectively advertising the space program.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2013
    Koppel (The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life through the Pages of a Lost Journal, 2008, etc.) explores the cohesiveness of a group of wives who formed an unofficial support group and their individual development during the early years of the Cold War. With the announcement on April 9, 1959, of the "nation's first astronauts," the women's lives changed, as they became instant celebrities along with their husbands. From Project Mercury to the Apollo program and the moon landings, the author traces how the lives of the wives of the original astronauts were transformed by these developments. Ubiquitous reporters, anxious to cover their most intimate moments, and their new status as American icons, intruded into every aspect of their daily lives. Being impeccably groomed became yet another challenge to their existence as de facto single mothers; their husbands were away training for their missions into space. Although they were familiar with the typical stresses facing the wives of career military officers--their husbands' long absences (sometimes on dangerous missions), poor pay, dismal living quarters, frequent moves and more--this public exposure was a first. They had their own part to play in a less obvious aspect of winning the Cold War: the public-relations offensive. The wives were guests at the White House and joined their husbands on international goodwill tours, showcasing the much-envied American lifestyle. Not only were astronauts judged by their own performance, but their wives and children were also rated. Koppel describes their appearance on the pages of Life magazine, looking like "scoops of ice cream" in their "pressed pastel shirtwaists." The glamor of Jackie Kennedy was a welcome change, and they enjoyed the perks that came with celebrity, including a lucrative contract with Life. Insightful social history with a light touch.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Hachette Audio
  • OverDrive Listen
    Release date:
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 5 titles every 30 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Astronaut Wives Club
The Astronaut Wives Club
A True Story
Lily Koppel
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel