by JoAnn Petrie Carr
This is the feminine view of the space race and has never been done before by an insider. Keeper of the Flame is a metaphor for the universal story of every traditional married woman who found herself exposed to the possibilities offered by the changing world of the 60's. It is also pertinent for those younger women who struggle to combine career and family Jennifer Davis, though she has ambitions of her own, supports her husband as he focuses exclusively on getting to the moon. She pushes the traditional envelope of her life as best she can much to NASA's displeasure. When a friendship with a television producer threatens to become intimate during her husband's month long stay on the moon, she is forced to reexamine her core values as she meets the tough choices that face her head on.
Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2012
FROM FINIKEN@AOL.COM ABOUT KEEPER OF THE FLAME. This astronaut wife has woven the perennial question: 'What was it like to be....'into a really interesting story. I will remember the characters, brought vibrantly to life here, and the dialogue is so crisp and smart that you can almost hear it. Their story is that of women who, when they were very young, married men who had fantastic ambitions that suddenly became available to them. They kept the home fires burning, mostly alone, while realizing the world was changing outside their doors. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a Novel. To me, this book is the distaff side of Tom Wolfe's, 'The Right Stuff'. And a lot of fun to read!
5.0 out of 5 stars A view from rarely viewed perspective.
Ever since the 1998 HBO Mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon" there has been a growing interest in the lives of the wives and families of the original MGA era astronauts. Episode 11 titled "The Original Wives Club" gave the general public for the first time a perspective about the astronauts' families that was barely talked about before. It's been long enough that the era is now history and many myths have grown about the period and the people. Many still with us have a story and slowly some are beginning to tell their roles in that part of American and World history.
JoAnn Petrie Carr is one of the people who lived that history from the 1966 selection of astronauts until present day. Rather than write a memoir or a tell-all she decided to write a novel of that time in her life. What she accomplished is a very well written fast paced story that has taken her experiences and the overall essence of being an astronaut's wife from 1966 to 1974 and wove that into a fictional story right up to a fictional mission.
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2012
JoAnn Carr has written a good book about the life of an Astronaut wife. It is also a page-turner. I started reading as soon as my Amazon order arrived and didn't stop until I had finished the book. It is supposed to be fiction, but because I lived through the same events, I saw that it was very close to real life so I had fun trying to figure out who the characters were based on. (The author says they are composites and not real people.) This book is well written, engaging, and true-to-life. I bought copies for Christmas presents for my best friend, my daughters and my daughters-in-law.
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2012
I just finished reading "Keeper of the Flame". For me it is one of those books you cannot put down until finished. The writing style makes it enjoyable to read with no complex list of characters and complicated plot. It was especially interesting to me because I was at NASA during most of the time period in this book. I had fun matching the fictional characters and their real life counterparts the author used in the book. It would be more interesting to me if real people were used, but I can understand the reason for using fictional characters for most of the people in the book. Although the majority is fiction, the author puts everything in the 1960's / 1970's time frame and gives exceptional descriptions of the Clear Lake area and the Kennedy Space Center. This is the untold story of astronaut's wives and what they had to go through for our space program.
Keeper of the Flame is definitely a must read for all space buffs and any others interested in our history.
what the critics and readers are saying
JoAnn Carr has written a novel based on her experiences as an Apollo astronaut wife in the sixties. which gives her a unique perspective from which to write this book. It is called Keeper of the Flame. This fictional inside look is an honest unvarnished rendition of what it was like to “be an astronaut wife”. This is the feminine view of the space race and has never been done before by an insider. Keeper of the Flame is a metaphor for the universal story of every traditional married woman who found herself exposed to the possibilities offered by the changing world.
Though Jennifer Davis has ambitions of her own, she supports her husband as he focuses exclusively on getting to the moon. She pushes the traditional envelope of her life as best she can much to NASA's displeasure. When,a friendship with a television producer threatens to become intimate during her husband's month long stay on the moon, she is forced to reexamine her core values as she meets the tough choices that face her head-on.
JoAnn Carr grew up in Orange County in Southern California. She graduated from California State at Long Beach and married her high school sweetheart, a USC graduate who was later named to the Class of ‘66 Apollo Astronauts. She gave birth to two sets of twins including two singles.
She raised her six children amidst the backdrop of the Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs. She completed her Doctor of Jurisprudence at the University of Houston in 1978 with all six children still at home, divorced, and practiced law for 30 years.