Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Astronaut Wives Club

Today's agenda included the launch party for Lily Koppel's new book, The Astronaut Wives Club. 

The event, hosted by book and author promoter Jane Moser, took the form of an Afternoon Tea at Ouisie's Table. On the menu were tiny finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, along with hot and iced tea - and, for some, champagne and chocolate martinis. The "adult beverages" were an appropriate nod to the 1960s when the Astrowives were at the center of the national spotlight.

The assembled group was an interesting mix of women. Some were professionals; some were not. Some were old enough to remember the start of our nation's race to the moon. Others were not even born until decades later. What they all had in common, however, was a love of reading and high interest in this book and the "stars" of the story.  Like me, all were delighted to find some of the Astrowives among us, including Jennie Bassett, Sue Bean, Barbara Cernan Butler, Harriet Eisele and Beth Williams.

The program began with welcoming remarks by Moser, followed by a reading by the author. A highly skilled storyteller, Koppel's introduction to the book immediately drew us in. As she read, we were transported back in time, to the start of the space race and our country's commitment to win it.

The Astronaut Wive Club recounts the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs and the devoted women behind the bravest men of the 20th century.

Additionally, it is the story of female friendship and the strong bonds that developed between a bevy of totally different individuals when linked together by their shared and all-important roles in American history.

The Astronaut Wives Club is a must-read. And, tonight, reading this book - most likely straight through - is exactly what I will be doing!