The Astronaut Wives Club
By Lily Koppel
As American astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from shy military spouses to American royalty: having tea with Jackie Kennedy, attending high society galas, and being featured on the cover of Life magazine. They quickly grew into fashion icons, donning sherbet-swirled Pucci dresses and lacquering their hair into extravagant rocket styles (to match their husbands' spaceships).Annie Glenn was the envy of the other wives, with her many magazine features; platinum-blonde bombshell Rene Carpenter was proclaimed JFK's favourite; homely Betty Grissom worried her husband was having affairs; Louise Shepard just wanted to be left alone to her card games; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived on base with a dirty secret. Together they rallied to form the Astronaut Wives Club, which has now turned into over 40 years of enduring friendship. Sexy and sophisticated, rich in melodrama, and set against the uniquely atmospheric backdrop of the Space Age, THE ASTRONAUTS' WIVES CLUB tells the real story behind some of the biggest heroes in American history, chronicling their romantic, domestic, and public dramas during the Mad Men era.
At the Coalface
By Catherine Paton Black
Growing up in a mining family, Cath's husband Doug promised his father he wouldn't follow in his dangerous footsteps. But after struggling with terrible poverty in 1970s Scotland, Doug decided a pit job would provide his wife and young family much needed security, despite extraordinary risks to life and limb.Every day, Cath kissed her husband goodbye, not knowing if she'd see him again as he went to work at the coalface. And while her husband toiled deep below, the mother-of-five put her cooking and cleaning skills to use in the colliery canteen. In good times and bad, the miner's wives pulled together as much as their men underground. Then Thatcher swept to power and suddenly loyalties were tested and a fight for survival of a different kind ensued. One for their very existence.