The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin - 3o1 pages
When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, 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 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. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she 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 Review: 4.5 stars
I avoided reading this book for sometime as I was disappointed with her earlier book, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, yet the author is coming to speak at my local library so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m SO glad I did. I not only learned so much about The Lindberghs, but I adored the author’s voice and the emotions she brought to the characters. In a way, this was a coming of age story as well, as we saw Anne Morrow fight to distinguish her role as aviator’s wife, ambassador's daughter, mother, sister and friend. I so often wanted to reach through the pages and give her a backbone and stronger voice, but she was so overshadowed in her husband’s presence it made me tremble. The rumors of Charles being a Nazi were well portrayed through this story and made me dislike this “hero” even more. I found the kidnapping not only profoundly sad, but also a lesson in the media, paparazzi and the nonsense that goes along with it. I suppose Anne learned all too well to be careful what one wishes for. I’m so thankful for Mrs. Benjamin’s author’s notes that cleared up what is historical fact and what was not. I highly recommend this book for all lovers of historical fiction!
Quotes I liked:
- “...so I could write in the morning-always my favorite time to gather my thoughts. I would rise early, before the children got up, before they pulled at me, tugged at me, stretched me thin as taffy, as children had a way of doing.”
- “Jealousy is a terrible thing. It keeps you up at night, it demands tremendous energy in order to remain alive, and so you have to want to feed it, nurture it- and by so wanting, you have to acknowledge that you are a bitter, petty person. It changes you. It changes the way you view the world; minor irritations become major catastrophes; celebrations become trials.”
- “Or a perfect life. A woman’s life, always changing, accommodating, then shedding, old duties for new; one person’s expectations for another until finally, victoriously, emerging stronger. Complete.”
- “And I was alone. For the first time since before I married Charles. 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.”
- “To live for oneself is a terrifying prospect; there is comfort in martyrdom…”
Tags: 2013, Historical Fiction, Romance,
Labels: 2013, Historical Fiction, Romance