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The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
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The Aviator's Wife

by Melanie Benjamin

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1,4351528,833 (3.81)1 / 56
Despite her own major achievements--she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States--Anne Morrow Lindbergh is viewed merely as Charles Lindbergh's wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life's infinite possibilities for change and happiness.… (more)
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: Although The Women recounts several love affairs between architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his paramours, the lush lyricism of this richly detailed biographical novel may appeal to fans of The Aviator's Wife, which also explores the complexities of romantic relationships.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
A poignant story of how it took one woman almost a lifetime to find her own voice. More fact than fiction, the author thoroughly explores the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. From the shadow of being an Ambassador's daughter, to the shadow of being Charles Lindbergh's wife, Anne found her strength through the loneliness, grief and spotlight, becoming a person she never thought possible. The facts of Anne's life are a sad reminder of how women, no matter how relevant their contribution, are often left out of history. ( )
  Penny_L | Jan 31, 2020 |
For much of her life, Anne Morrow has stood in the shadows of those around her. Then Anne, a college senior, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements, Anne is viewed merely as the aviator's wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life's infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

This beautifully written novel based on actual events brings the reader into the lives of the Lindberghs...their celebrity, happiness, and ultimate tragedy. The story focuses on Anne rather than Charles, as an accomplished person in her own right, even though she is known primarily as Charles Lindbergh's wife. Hard to put down. ( )
  lrobe190 | Jan 19, 2020 |
This was a fictionalized first-person account of the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I realized as I read it that I knew virtually nothing about her prior to this account. She was a fascinating woman in her own right, besides just being the wife of Charles Lindbergh. I learned a lot that I didn't know about him as well - he was like a rock star after his famous flight across the ocean; he and Anne were hunted by the press and public much like Princess Diana in her day; in the early stages of WWII he was courted by Hitler and was accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. And of course the sad story of the kidnapping and murder of their baby was a centerpiece of the book and turning point in their relationship. I don't usually do well with "real" biographies, but this book whet my appetite to know more about these fascinating people and their place in history, so I will probably read more. ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
While I enjoyed Melanie Benjamin's first two books, this one just didn't do anything for me. The story dragged in a few places and I actually skipped a few pages without losing anything. The real problem I had with this book, though, was that the two main characters were very unsympathetic. Lindbergh was a colossal jerk and Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a doormat. (Mind you, I don't base this judgement off just this novel: A. Scott Berg's 'Lindbergh' will tell you all you need to know about this family.) I really don't recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  tiasreads | Dec 11, 2019 |
A beautifully written book, but I found myself asking about the ethics of writing about someone so close to our own time period. It pushed the edge of intrusion, and I feel uneasy about that. ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Dedication
To Alec
First words
He is flying.
Quotations
Our mother was as tightly wound as a bedside clock
Why couldn't confidence be bottled, like perfume?
Mother turned to me with a smile that suddenly crumbled, like a sand castle overwhelmed by an unexpected tide.
"But almost as soon as I landed, I began to feel it—the awful realization that I'm never going to be left alone. People always want more from me, and I don't know what I can give them. I already flew across the ocean."
for the first time I sensed the darker side of accomplishing so much, so young.
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Book description
For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure.
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