1. The Patron Saint of Ugly Marie Manilla This wildly imaginative novel centers on a young woman who becomes an unlikely and reluctant saint able to heal other people’s skin ailments.
2. The Astronaut Wives Club Lily Koppel The wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts became ’60s icons in their own right. Their true stories make for a lovely, nostalgic summer read.
The Right Stuff meets Mad Men in Lily Koppel’s account of 1960s-era NASA wives, The Astronaut Wives Club. Behind their glamorous all-American veneer — the bubble hair and pastel shirtwaists, the Life magazine photo shoots, the White House soirees — the women were a plucky bunch who held each other up through good times and bad (many are still friends more than half a century later). It’s a little hard to keep them all straight, but it doesn’t matter much.
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