HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel by Melanie…
Loading...

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Melanie Benjamin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
552None18,081 (3.95)1 / 28
Member:alandee
Title:The Aviator's Wife: A Novel
Authors:Melanie Benjamin
Info:Delacorte Press (2013), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:ARC

Work details

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Isn't it spectacular? A few Wednesdays ago I had made a "Waiting on Wednesday" post about Melanie Benjamin's The Aviator's Wife, and now I'm blogging about reading it! I was able to read this novel thanks to the people at NetGalley, which has become one of my favorite sites.

Here's the blurb on the book, which came out on January 15th:

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.

I'm a huge fan of historical fiction that centers on real-life characters - specifically living in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. My affinity for old Hollywood glamour has me clambering for anything that breathes "celebrity," and in his time, Charles Lindbergh was the celebrity.

But the heart of this novel really is Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Charles Lindbergh's devoted wife and co-pilot. Through most of her life she is dismissed, seen as "just a wife" (and later, a grieving mother). However, Melanie Benjamin brings Anne to the spotlight and makes her a protagonist worth rooting for.

It took me a while to ease into Anne's narration. Her words seemed too formal, like she may be hiding her true feelings. As the novel progressed, however, I realized that this is Anne's character: she appears one way in public, out of duty to her family and husband, while alone with her private thoughts she is freer.

As Anne Morrow becomes Mrs. Lindbergh, I became swept up in her new lifestyle. She undergoes a culture shock of sorts, becoming a pilot's wife, but she adapts beautifully. She is frightened, but she is strong. She prevails in learning to pilot a plane, to navigate the stars (recognizing Polaris by its appearance, similar to her husband's eyes).

The author paints a handsome portrait of Charles, and I certainly fell in love with him in the same way Anne does. However, we become privy to the man behind the celebrity, as well; it is heartbreaking to acknowledge Anne's true desire to be loved and appreciated by her husband - a desire he rarely recognizes.

Some of the most beautiful imagery in the book comes in the flying scenes. Anne's initial flight with Charles is such a thrill to read.

In reading this book, aside from being entertained, I was also engaged in learning about historical figures. I knew some basic information about the Lindberghs, but not enough to fill a book. I really loved the portion dedicated to the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping; as Benjamin noted in an afterword, she tried to stick to the timeline as closely as possible. I was inspired to do research as a result of reading The Aviator's Wife, and that's a really great thing.

If you're looking for a book with a strong female character, or you're a historical fiction fan, I highly recommend The Aviator's Wife. ( )
  thereaderscommute | Apr 13, 2014 |
Re-imagining actual people and calling it fiction seems a little disrespectful. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I thought, was an appealing character, and I too read this book to discover more about her, but just found that Charles overwhelmed her in this fictional telling as well as in real life.
( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
I've enjoyed Melanie Benjamin's other novels but for some reason i didn't like this one as much. Was it because I idolized both Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh? Perhaps...her portrayal of Lindy was so harsh--maybe he was strident and overbearing but as a record-holding aviator there can be no margin for error, so the rest of his life had to reflect that. Want to read Reese Lindbergh's books, as well as others by Anne Morrow Lindbergh--she simply fascinates me. ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
From a purely literary perspective, The Aviator’s Wife is a great historical novel. It is extremely well-researched, filled with characters that seem to fit the real life persons they represent and written in a flowing and easily read style. Benjamin has succeeded in providing suspense for the reader through events that have already been concluded. It is however, a work of fiction, and the emotions and motives of the characters are imagined and imagined, I feel, from a modern perspective. All the members of my highly eclectic group loved the book. I enjoyed it immensely too.

The Aviator’s Wife follows the life of Anne Morrow Lindberg from her first meeting with Charles Lindberg, through his death. The ups and downs (a lot of downs) of their marriage is told through her first person account. And although the author attempts to present Charles Lindberg’s viewpoint through Anne’s observations, it seems that he is given very short-shrift. I didn’t like any of the characters very much, but understand their responses in the light of the times in which they lived. From a spiritual perspective, the story is sad. Trying to find value in our own endeavors or through the approval of others is bound to be disappointing. We had a good discussion of the history, the role of women at the time and the morality that was evidenced in the Lindberg’s lives. As the writer herself states in the Afterword, The Aviator’s Wife is a good book club book. All in all a novel we would all recommend.

Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Mar 24, 2014 |
I didn't know very much about either Lindbergh and this historical novel told from the viewpoint of Anne Morrow Lindbergh was very interesting. ( )
  chasidar | Mar 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345528670, Hardcover)

Melanie Benjamin on The Aviator’s Wife

Dimitri Maex

What was I thinking, writing a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh?

That is a question I asked myself every time I sat down to work on The Aviator’s Wife.

For Anne Morrow Lindbergh guarded her privacy fiercely and, at times, I felt she was eluding me just to make that point! My other heroines—Alice Liddell in Alice I Have Been and Lavinia Warren Stratton in The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb—gave up their secrets easily, almost eagerly. Anne, however, did not.

But that was what attracted me to her story in the first place—because of how elusive Anne remains to this day. She is known in fragments but never completely. Some are aware of her child’s horrific kidnapping and murder. Others remember her chiefly as the shy, pretty bride of the most heroic man of his time. Many women revere her as an early feminist writer.

But few know her entire story, including her major accomplishments as an aviator in her own right, her grit and determination, her inner strength. Always she seems willing to stand in the tall shadow of her husband, Charles Lindbergh. And it was her marriage that fascinated and obsessed me; this marriage between two extraordinary and very different individuals under the relentless glare of the spotlight. This operatic life they led, through dizzying heights of accomplishment and celebrity to the devastating lows of what Anne always saw as the price they paid for flying too close to the sun.

It seemed to me, as I studied her, standing always slightly behind her husband, that there was a sly smile, a gleam in her eyes that she was always suppressing; a secret strength hidden from the world and even, at times, herself. This was the Anne Morrow Lindbergh whose story I wanted to tell. It’s time for Anne to step out from behind her husband’s shadow once and for all and be the heroine in her own epic story.

Photos from The Aviator's Wife

Charles A. Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Charles A. Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Courtesy of SDAM

Click here for a larger image

Anne Morrow Lindbergh with Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh with Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. at Next Day Hill, NJ.

Copyright: Lindbergh picture collection, 1860-1980 (inclusive). Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University

Click here for a larger image

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
32 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.95)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 10
2.5 2
3 32
3.5 18
4 87
4.5 28
5 43

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,428,196 books! | Top bar: Always visible