Author: Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: January 15, 2013
Source: Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
- You like great characters.
From Goodreads.com: "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."
My Two Cents:
"The Aviator's Wife" is a fictional take on the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the famous and infamous Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh. The book follows from about the time that Anne meets Charles until Charles passes away in the mid-1970s. Before this book, I didn't know much about Anne at all so this book was very eye-opening to me. For instance, I didn't know just how accomplished Anne was in her own right. She was an author. She was also a pilot! She was the first American woman to get her license to fly a glider. There was so much more to this woman than I realized. Benjamin does a really fantastic job bringing this historical figure to life. This book is very much in the vein of other books such as "Loving Frank" and many others that cover some of the lesser known people from the past.
Anne realizes that she is signing up for a life filled with adventure when she marries Charles Lindbergh, who is already world-famous by the time that he begins courting Anne. Anne just doesn't realize what kind of adventure it will be. Anne's life with Charles is no picnic and I really felt bad for her throughout the entire book. We get to see how complicated her marriage is with Charles. He sees Anne as more of an assistant to his greatness than a partner in his life. Anne realizes early on that the initial excitement she feels when she first marries the great aviator will soon wear down into something else. The author captures the complication perfectly. We get to an intimate picture of this marriage and the life of Anne.
The book goes into detail about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh's first child, which would be traumatizing and horrible for any set of parents. Charles and Anne deal very differently with losing their son and it seems to drive a wedge behind them. Because Anne is such a likeable character, you keep wanting Charles to wake up and act like he cares about Anne. You want things to get better. Even though they don't, Anne doesn't give up hope.
The book also covers some of Charles and Anne's political activities around World War II. Charles verged on being complimentary to the Nazis, which, of course, was a big no-no. He also was very engaged with the "America First" movement, a isolationist driven movement to keep America out of World War II. After being so popular prior to this, both Charles and Anne's stars fell far in the eyes of the public. It was interesting to see a take of how Anne felt during those years.
I have read both of Benjamin's previous books and she is quickly becoming one of my Must Read/ Must Get writers (you know, the writers that no matter what you come out with, you're probably going to rush out and buy their books).
Bottom line: A great historical fiction pick.