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The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,6521619,102 (3.82)1 / 63
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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 Early Reviewers: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin3 unread / 3TooBusyReading, April 2013

» See also 63 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
I was so looking forward to reading this fictional account of the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I have long admired her writing, and have read much of her history, as laid down in her own words. Unfortunately, I think there was more of fiction than of history in this historical fiction by Melanie Benjamin. Of course, some creative license is expected, but I was appalled at how far askew of the facts Benjamin was willing to go. What made it more irritating was that the life of Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh needs no enhancement to make it interesting or compelling.

What struck me the most was how little of the essence of Anne Benjamin seemed to capture. I did not get the feeling that the girl she was describing was anything like the one I encountered in Anne’s diaries, nor could I catch a glimpse of the woman I found in Gifts From the Sea. I have, sitting on my bookshelf, an unread biography of Anne, and I am anxious to read that and see if my impressions are borne out by the biographer in a way they were not by Ms. Benjamin.

As for Charles Lindbergh, I think he was in a terrible position, as those who are worshiped as beyond human so often are, to find any happiness with his fame and fortune. I hope he was not as despicable a person as Benjamin has painted, although it does not take knowing much of his story to realize that his heroics were more of the bravery and courage realm than the moral one.

Anyone trying to imagine what life must have been like for these two people after the sensationalized events surrounding the kidnapping and murder of their first child must certainly have some difficulties. It would be hard to grasp an event like this without all the outside agitation, dealing with it in the face of so much adulation and insanity from the public is impossible to envision. What is fairly easy to comprehend is the difficulty of trying to have even a semblance of a normal life afterward. Few marriages survive such an ordeal, and in today’s environment, divorce would be an expected outcome. The strain of living with the memory alone would be insufferable. That they had the fortitude to bring five other children into this world is amazing.

To anyone reading this without a background in the actual history of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, I would only caution that you take what you are reading with a grain of salt. In an effort to be sensational, I fear Ms. Benjamin has also been unfair.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Enjoyed this book. The first 3/4 seemed better than the rest but the book as a whole was interesting. ( )
  kathp | Jun 10, 2022 |
This was an interesting story. I learned much about the Lindberghs I did not know previously. I did grow a bit frustrated during the grief and with Anne's pliancy. ( )
  Wren73 | Mar 4, 2022 |
This book was a delectable dessert from beginning to end. Historical fiction at its very best. ( )
  Tosta | Nov 17, 2021 |
A historical novel reimagines the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of famous aviator Charles and mother of infamously kidnapped baby, Charles, Jr. An engrossing fictionalization of the celebrated couple's marriage.
  BLTSbraille | Sep 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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