Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: The Aviator's Wife

The Aviator's Wife The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good look at the lives of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh from Anne's point of view. The daughter of the Ambassador to Mexico in the late 20s / early 30s, Anne Morrow was a middle child who felt like she was often overlooked, with an uneventful future ahead of her. Longing to make a mark on the world, Anne meets and later marries American hero Charles Lindbergh, not long after his epic journey from the US to Paris in The Spirit of St. Louis. At the time, she was smitten and ready for adventure. Adventure is what she got, in spades. What Anne did not anticipate was the rigid, often cold relationship with her new husband. There were good, loving times when the two would fly together, lost in the air away from the harsh realities that came with stardom. More often than not, though, life as the aviator's wife was a struggle where her fear of being overlooked was realized.

I want to think that Anne was a strong woman with gumption. Benjamin did a great job of presenting Anne as a young, naive woman who is often beaten down emotionally by a man who was overbearing. Throughout the book we see Anne transformed into her own woman with her own voice. It is a well researched book, sticking close to historical events, taking licenses on Anne's personality and character. I read this right after reading A. Scott Berg's biography on Lindbergh. It was a nice follow up to see their lives from Anne's vantage point. She had to be a remarkable person for putting up with the larger than life character that was her husband.

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