The Aviator's Wife, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (22 ratings)


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I read The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin for a book discussion group, otherwise I probably would have missed reading this book, as it's not something I would normally pick up. I really enjoyed this book, and found the Lindbergh's to be a fascinating couple. I also liked the authors writing style. This book made me want to learn more about Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Review by

This is the fictionalised story of Charles Lindbergh's wife Anne Morrow and the important role she played in his achievements. Melanie Benjamin has done an excellent job of portraying the life in the limelight that this couple led, along with its ups and downs.A vivid rendering of the years between the 1920s and 1960s paints an interesting historical view of the changing role of the educated woman's place in society. Charles Lindbergh is portrayed as a selfish man to whom Anne must acquiesce. Her achievements are given just recognition in this portrayal of their lives. She is acknowledged as the first female glider pilot in the United States but her role in the support of Lindbergh is all consuming often to the detriment of the relationship and her own reputation as a writer.Having read this title I am now interested to read Gift from the sea (1955) written by Mrs Anne Lindbergh and read her account of life with Charles.

Review by

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the real hero of the saga of Charles Lindbergh. Charles was a narcissist, controlling human being rather like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway. Paris Wife and Loving Frank both historical fiction told in the voice Frank's mistress and Ernest's first wife remind me of this novel. During the course of reading all three above referenced books, I wanted to shake each of the men to wake up and see what was right in front of them.Are all men of genius a narcissist or due to their fame become one? Anne Morrow stands out as her own person by the end of the novel and the reader see her stronger than her husband, the hero. Her husband never shared his grief of the kidnapping and death of their first child. The ordeal made Anne a stronger individual.Ms. Benjamin in her prose does a remarkable job of creating a believable character of both Anne and Charles. Yes what Charles did was a remarkable feate but living with him and loving him Anne made her the real hero.

Review by

This is the #1 book of the year for me. I couldn't put it down! Historical fiction has always been my choice of reading. This book brought me back to this genre. Narrated from Ann Morrow Lindbergh's point of view, we learn her strength, her weakness (staying with a cad for so many years while he left his family alone, with no contact information for long, long periods of time), and the reader learns of the sharp, determined, egocentric, controlling, self centered hero, Charles Lindbergh.While he roamed the world, admonishing her grief when their first born was kidnapped and killed, Ann stayed behind as five more children were born and raised by her.She was a strong, intelligent woman who was the first female to obtain a pilot's license. Taught by Charles in a demanding fashion, she soon learned to navigate both with instruments, and by Polaris, the bright constant star.Despite her growing anger and longing to claim her individuality, Charles remained her constant star throughout the many years of their marriage.The mark of great historical fiction challenges the reader to learn more, to separate the facts from the fiction. Melanie Benjamin does an amazing job of this!While the author writes of Ann's supreme anger, dismay of betrayal when, before Charles' death, she discovered there were three German mistresses with whom he sired a total of seven children, in fact, I researched to learn that it was their children, who when contacted by their half siblings, discovered their father's other lives, long after Ann's death.Mainly, I was in awe of the author's ability to paint Ann's feelings of love and hate of the hero Charles Lindbergh. And, haven't we all felt that at times in our lives, ie the longing to be loved, the disappointment in ourselves when we know we have loved too much to receive so very little in return?

Review by

Historical fiction about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Charles Linbergh's wife. Set in fact, but dialog added, this was a good story about Anne's years just prior to meeting Charles, her early marriage and the kidnapping of the baby in great detail, but then whisked through the rest of her childbearing years, and dawdled a little during Charles' death. Almost impossible to imagine the media frenzy surrounding them - making it impossible for them to truly become a couple (although I don't know if Charles' ego would have allowed it anyway). Anne always played the role of "crew" in everything and kept the household going, while, it turns out, Charles was overseas fathering at least three other families.

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