A uniquely personal portrait of the United States’ first woman in space, illustrated with sheaves of public and private photos.
As her longtime companion, as well as co-author (of Exploring Our Solar System, 2003, etc.) and business partner, O’Shaughnessy is in an unparalleled position to illuminate Ride’s inner life as much as her well-known outer one. She does so here in a frank, engagingly detailed account that tenders as much about her subject’s significant friendships and loves as it does about her outstanding academic, athletic, astronautical, and post-NASA achievements. All of these are also traced in the illustrations, which begin with baby and toddler pictures, close with images of post-mortem tributes (Ride died in 2012, of pancreatic cancer), and in between mix family snapshots and posed portraits with report cards, yearbook photos, news clippings, mementos, and letters. Sue Macy’s excellent Sally Ride: Life on a Mission (2014) covers much of the same territory (and broke the news to younger readers that Ride was gay), but both the visual material and the author’s personal memories here add significant insights and angles of view to her subject. They describe the growth and complex character of a smart but unmotivated young “underachiever” who became anything but and stands as an exemplar for budding scientists of any sex.
A perceptive, loving tribute. (timeline, index) (Biography. 10-13)