If you're wondering what you're going to do with yourself after this week's "Mad Men" finale, don't fret. Get your 1960s fix by reading Lily Koppel's The Astronaut Wives Club.
Their husbands may have gotten all of the glory, but, in this delightfully juicy, touching book, the women behind the men finally get to tell their stories—what it was like being married to men who had the most dangerous job in the world, who were away from home more often than they weren't and who were constantly pursued by groupies called "Cape Cookies." The Astrowives leaned on each other, forming deep and lasting friendships that shine from every page of The Astronaut Wives Club.
We were curious about what Koppel has been reading lately, so we asked her. Here's what she shared with us:
I’m one of those readers who reads multiple books at a time. I particularly love books about women—wives, sisters, mothers and daughters, at different stages in their lives.
Life After Life, the new Kate Atkinson novel about a woman fated to live her life over and over again: I was drawn to the book’s highly evocative premise, and became enchanted with the rational tone employed for such a dreamlike topic. Even the opening—set in a foreign café over cigarettes, coffee, and rich cake, is like something you’d expect out of an old-fashioned spy novel. I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever wished for a “do-over” in life.
Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld, who I’ve been a fan of since her debut novel Prep, followed by The American Wife. I’d read anything Curtis writes, and this one is about twins and their psychic abilities. Set in suburban St. Louis, Violet (“Vi”) embraces her psychic visions, while Kate hides hers under the rug until an earthquake shakes things up. I picked this one up because we’ve all wondered at a time if we have such talents, or think we know someone who does. Plus it looks at the relationship between two sisters, finding forgiveness, and truth.
The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner, which follows a female artist, Reno (great name), through the 1970s New York art world. I picked this one up because of the great accolades it has been receiving and because Rachel’s grandparents lived across the street in Westport, Connecticut, from my honorary grandmother, Florence Wolfson (the subject of my previous book, The Red Leather Diary). Needless to say, I’d heard a lot about her! I recommend this book because it is fascinating to see another young writer take on a time and world she didn’t live through, yet invokes so masterfully.
In case anyone's keeping track, Koppel joins Jojo Moyes and J. Courtney Sullivan as the third author to recommend Life After Life. Will you be adding it or either of Koppel's other picks to your TBR list?