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The Aviator's Wife: A Novel by Melanie…

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

by Melanie Benjamin

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1,0161308,374 (3.87)1 / 45
Title:The Aviator's Wife: A Novel
Authors:Melanie Benjamin
Info:Delacorte Press (2013), Hardcover, 416 pages
Tags:Charles Lindbergh

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The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

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Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
This book had all the elements I love except for a more complex writing style (but this was clear without any confusing look-back issues). It had history (Charles Lindbergh), insight, character development, readability and plot, interest, and learning. It made me want to know more about the Lindbergh children and any accomplishments or problems they may have had. ( )
  bereanna | Aug 5, 2016 |
This fictionalized account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's life reads as though it were a memoir. I was left wanting to know even more about her.


Flying is perfectly safe. Up there on the currents, like the birds—it’s a holy thing. Nothing has ever made me feels so—so in control of my own destiny. So above all the petty strife and cares of the world. It’s down here where the danger is, you know—not up there.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 29)
As much as I told myself that life was no fairy tale, I had always hoped, deep down, that it was. What young girl doesn’t dream of the hero rescuing her from her lonely tower? I had been no different, only more diligent, perhaps, than others in constructing that ivory tower of my own design—a foundation laid of books, the bricks formed of the duty drilled into me by my parents; dreams may have been the paintings on my walls, but doubts and fears were the bars on my windows.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 45-6)
And there were good times; odd though as the years went on, the details of those lost their sharpness, so that they became impressionistic paintings compared to the unmistakably photographic images of the bad.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 322)
I was Mom. I was Wife. I was Tragedy. I was Pilot. They all were me, and I, them. That was a fate we could not escape, we women; we would always be called upon by others in a way men simply never were. But weren’t we always, first and foremost—woman? Wasn’t there strength in that, victory, clarity—in all the stages of a woman’s life.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 340)
You need to …stop looking for heroes, Anne. Only the weak need…heroes…and heroes need…those around them to remain weak. You’re…not weak.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 341-2)
I’d thought marriage would mean I’d never be lonely. Now I knew: Marriage breeds its own special brand of loneliness, and it’s far more cruel. You miss more, because you’ve known more.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 349)
Unlike men, women got less sentimental as we aged, I was discovering. We cried enough, when we were young; vessels overflowing with the tears of everyone we loved.
-Melanie Benjamin (The Aviator’s Wife p 391) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Jul 31, 2016 |
This is a wonderful literary fiction. I knew a little about Charles Lindbergh and after this book I have a different perspective of him. He seemed to be a difficult man who had to have everything his way. Even if he wasn’t home, things had to be ran the way he wanted it. The kids had to follow very detailed schedules, they had books they were supposed to read and Ann was supposed to keep inventory of everything in the house including how many shampoo bottles there were while he flew around the world having affairs and children out of wedlock. Ann was an amazing person on her own. She was a pilot, she flew many different kinds of planes. She also survived the kidnapping and killing of her first born. She also ran things while Charles was gone. But she also seemed to put Charles before anything else including herself. This is beautifully written and really pulled me into the story making me want to know more about this family, more than I already knew. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
This is the historical fiction tale of Anne Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh. Benjamin does a great job describing their life together and apart. The tale is tinged with great sorrow as every part of their life is made public by a mad, hungry press due to his great accomplishment of crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the tragedy of their first son's death. As they age, Charles leaves her and the family by themselves with only occasional visits home. Anne realizes that she can no longer wait for him and decides to live the life she deserved and envisioned before her marriage. Well written. ( )
  JulieLill | May 31, 2016 |
One of the best books I’ve read in a while. I would recommend it for book clubs (except mine – they would balk at a 400 page book). The author does a remarkable job of interpreting the emotional life of Anne Morrrow Lindbergh throughout her long and tumultuous life in Charles Lindbergh’s shadow. I was thinking about it long after I finished reading and it made me interested in finding out more about Anne and reading some of her books, especially A Gift From The Sea (which is short and I *did* select for our book club). ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
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"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
To Alec
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He is flying.
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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.
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

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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:12 -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 4 descriptions

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