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

by Melanie Benjamin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9481289,163 (3.86)1 / 44
Member:melaniehope
Title:The Aviator's Wife: A Novel
Authors:Melanie Benjamin
Info:Delacorte Press (2013), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:historical fiction, LTER

Work details

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

  1. 00
    The Women by T. C. Boyle (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    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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    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler (pdebolt)
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Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
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 |
The good: a terrific story about Anne Lindenberg marriage to Charles Lindenberg. I could absolutely relate to Anne's destiny to follow her husband's destiny as a substitute for her own. To see Annies struggle to "find herself " ( as we baby boomers love to call it) and find happiness that she rightly deserves.

The bad : the gnawing feeling that Charles Lindenberg was a bully, a racist, egotistical maniac, narcissistic, selfish self-centered manipulating Nazi made this real life hero diminish considerably.

The ugly: even though this is a work of fiction the Lindenberg's has many children excluding baby Lindenberg and by his admission seven more with several other women. I found this horrifying.

The way the media hounded this family was a recipe for diaster that paved the way for the horrible car accident that ended Princess Diana ' s life ( )
  Alphawoman | Apr 10, 2016 |
I have strange feelings about this book. It seems like alot of excuses for Anne Lindburgh. But I do think she was married to a man who was a real bastard by nature but who was also somewhat a productof his life (through the press and kidnapping death of their child). No, I have to be honest here. The things he did: isolate her, completely control her and the kids, his complete superiority; these things lead me to suspect he was a wife beater. I've just seen to much of that professionally to not suspect it. So the burning question to me throughout the book was: who were you Anne? Did you agree with him or were you trapped and had to go his way? I think her decision not to follow his last order probably tells her real thoughts. In the end, I am glad she escaped him in the method of the times, and I am glad that I don't live in such times. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I hate stories about women who are controlled by men. This fictional account of Anne Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh made him look like a real ass. ( )
  amanaceerdh | Mar 21, 2016 |
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"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
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To Alec
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He is flying.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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 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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