The method of writing used in this book lost me at times. I msut admit that I saw the movie first so that really through me off. It did not help that the name Mary was prominent. That aside, I have nothing but respect for the character of these women who "overcame" in the precise manner Martin Luther King, Jr. called for. I would hope that eventually this book becomes required reading in schools all over the country. Young people of all races need to be exposed to this class of character.
3.5* actually. I LOVED the importance of this story and these courageously brilliant women who deserve this accolade. The author researched their stories and the history so meticulously. Set against the backdrop of WWII, the space race, and the civil rights movement, these infamously underrated human computers accomplished more than history has ever given them credit for, and I am so thankful that their stories have been finally brought into the open and celebrated.
I grudgingly agree, however, with many other reviews that this reads more like a textbook, and that their personal struggles seemed - especially for the time period - almost seamless. They rose to the top of their field amidst the racism of blacks and women, but I did not feel their struggles. It felt as if their continuous rise up the science ladder was without the obvious bumps or bruises along the way. I KNOW there had to be issues of discomfort, frustration, belittlement, etc., but the author glossed over these and instead chose to focus on the history of the time. She rattled off so many names, dates, and events that meant nothing to me, though I felt like I was supposed to know them and felt silly for my ignorance.
I suppose I would have liked this story better if she had chosen to write it with a more personal touch, in the novel style of historical fiction. I wanted to KNOW these ladies, not just know about them. However, this may say more about me as a reader needing that entertainment punch instead of appreciating the narrative history genre.
Still, with that being said, these women are miracles of their time. This is a story worth reading, and I am thankful for their place in our history. I would highly recommend this for everyone because their story is so crucial to the space program. Who knew?