Thursday, June 29, 2017
First sentence: "Mrs. Land worked as a computer out at Langley," my father said, taking a right turn out of the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Hampton, Virginia.
Premise/plot: Margot Lee Shetterly goes on a search to tell the stories of the women 'computers' of NASA (NACA) in her book, Hidden Figures. It is a story grounded in science, math, engineering, and politics. How did women contribute to the space race? Or how much did women contribute to the space race? What were the challenges they faced as women, as African-Americans? The book is packed with information, and, many stories. Primarily it focuses on Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. But there were dozens of others involved. And the book does a great job of balancing the general with the specific.
My thoughts: I read this one in two or three days. It was a great read. If you loved the movie, I'd definitely recommend the book. Though I think the book is probably better. I think the movie was true to the spirit of the book, but, not as true to the individual stories. In other words, I think they made three composites that represented many different women. I think they might have also tightened the time frame of the story. The book spans from the early 1940s through the early 1980s! Whereas the book seems to be just about the Mercury Seven and the very early days of getting man into orbit.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews