I'm in a bad mood and don't have a descriptive review in me. Basically, Lily (I can call her Lily because she interviewed me for a story once) provides a bio-history of the 1960s and early 70s space program from the point of view of the women married to the astronauts. The wives always had to be perfect and patriotic, and any display of insecurity or anger could threaten a husband's job and what assignments he might get. Indeed one astronaut did get fired after he left his wife for a Susie. (Susie was a popular name for Cape Cookies, it seems.)
Tagged with 1960s
The Chelsea was like a doll's house in the Twilight Zone, with a hundred rooms, each a small universe. I wandered the halls seeking its spirits, dead or alive. My adventures were mildly mischievous, tapping open a door slightly ajar and getting a glimpse of Virgil Thomson's grand piano, or loitering before the nameplate of Arthur C. Clarke, hoping he might suddenly emerge. Occasionally I would bump into Gert Schiff, the German scholar, armed with volumes of Picasso, or Viva in Eau Sauvage. Everyone had something to offer and nobody appeared to have any money. Even the successful seemed to have just enough to live like extravagant bums. p.112
I'm wary of wildly popular Oprah-ish books, admittedly not because I'm afraid they'll be bad, but because I'm afraid they'll be good. It would be bad for my literary cred if I embraced every manipulative mass appeal tearjerker that came along! As it turns out, The Help is worthy of adulation. It's a brave book, written by a white author about the black servant/white employer relationship in 1960s Mississippi.
"I was scared, a lot of the time, that I was crossing a terrible line, writing in the voice of a black person. I was afraid I would fail to describe a relationship that was so intensely influential in my life, so loving, so grossly stereotyped in American history and literature." p.450