The Aviator's Wife
"Gift from the Sea" was the first book my book club read and ever since I have felt a connection with Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I live near Captiva, Florida where the book was written, so my book club discussed the book on the beach chapter by chapter over several months.
And I loved this book! In "The Aviator's Wife" I felt the author did a marvelous job of capturing Anne's voice. Even though she was married to the most famous man in the world,her life was not easy, and I can now better understand why she wrote "Gift from the Sea."
This is a great book for book clubs as the Lindberghs made several controversial choices in their lives, choices sure to inspire spirited discussion.
Rated of 5
by Judy B. (Marysville, OH)
Astonishing story about the Lindberghs
I highly recommend this fictionalized story of the Lindberghs (based on the author's deep research). It is astonishing because although everyone knows of the famous couple--Charles, an aviation pioneer, and Anne, writer of Gift from the Sea--and, of course, of the terrible kidnapping of their firstborn child--the whole story of their relationship is not widely known. It is a sad, rich story, told from Anne's point of view, beautifully written in words both accessible and poetic. A brief example: After Anne, age 19, meets Charles for the first time and he singles her out, asking her to fly with him, Anne "...slept lightly. As if...I had a dream beneath my pillow that I did not wish to crush." Anne was a remarkable woman and this is a remarkable book.
Rated of 5
by Marie D. (Waretown, NJ)
A spell-binding tale by a hero's wife!
From the first page, I was hooked and prepared to take flight with Anne Lindbergh on her incredible life journey. That she took that journey with America's hero, Charles Lindbergh, a man she loved at first sight, made the story historic and thrilling. It is a tale of commitment - to spouse, children and country. The kidnapping and murder of her first-born son, Charlie, is, of course, well-known, but as Ms. Benjamin recounts the events up to and following the death, so much more is revealed. It is gripping, to hear in the mother's words, her anguish over of the loss of the baby. The decades the Lindberghs spent dealing with national and international attention —which turned from admiration to hateful criticism — make the paparazzi of today seem mild-mannered! Mrs. Lindbergh managed to live a full and interesting life and to achieve literary success on her own, but she remained, always, the Aviator's Wife.
Rated of 5
by Susan B. (Sarasota, FL)
Stunning portrait of the Lindberghs
Melanie Benjamin has written a fictional first person account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's life. Born in a strong privileged family, meeting the most famous person on earth, a hero of huge magnitude, she marries him and starts the rocky road to find a real person behing the myth.
This book had me from the first word, it is well written, the characters are defined in such a way I felt I knew them. Ms Benjamin writes from the perspective of how Anne, Charles and the family were as real, emotional people. The story is based on their true lives but using historical fiction as her method of writing allows her to bring out all the emotions of their lives. We watch as Anne gains strength to be her own person at the same time she supports and makes excuses for her husband, who diminishes in his own life as a national hero as well as a personal hero and his inability to have any true interaction with her or his children. The kidnapping does not overpower the story but you do feel the anguish of having such a terrible event happen. It is a part of their story but far from the entire story.
This is an excellent book that is destined to be one of the best of 2013. Book clubs will find a lot of challenging discussions about the Lindberghs
Rated of 5
by Marie A. (Warner, NH)
Who Were The Lindberghs?
In this novel, Melanie Benjamin successfully delves into a complex life led by complex characters. Exquisitely portrayed is Anne Morrow Lindbergh in a way few have been privy to. She is not the shrinking violet forever stuck in the shadow of her famous husband but rather a loving, courageous, strong-willed, intelligent, creative woman. During the course of the novel, Anne comes to realize her strengths as a wife, a mother, and a woman. Anne doesn't need a hero; she is a hero and more than just "the aviator's wife." Anne's voice is strong and reassuring as she relates her own story in the first person narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read--a book club hit!
Rated of 5
by Lois P. (Logan, UT)
A Book to Savor
"The Aviator's Wife" is one of the best historical novels I've read this year! If you're an Anne Morrow Lindberg fan, you'll be glued to the page and admire Anne's resilience and courage even more as the strong woman behind the public image is brought to life. Somehow knowing what's going to happen just makes the story all the more suspenseful. If you don't know much about the Lindbergs, meeting Anne through Melanie Benjamin's eyes is a special treat. I can tell you I read the last line, grabbed a tissue--then immediately scrounged up my old copy of Gift from the Sea. Don't miss this one!
Rated of 5
by Caroline R. (New Canaan, CT)
a wife's perspective
Very enjoyable and interesting perspective on Charles Lindbergh's life as told through the eyes of his wife. Good character development with the right amount of fact and fiction. I found myself routing for Anne and disliking Charles more than I expected.
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