BookBrowse Reviews The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Aviator's Wife

by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin X
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2013, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


The Aviator's Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage - revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.

Melanie Benjamin's The Aviator's Wife is a top choice among BookBrowse readers. 17 out of 20 reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars! Here is what they say about this highly regarded book:

This beautiful, compelling novel is the unfolding of a love story, a slice of aviation history. It reveals what happens when a couple is thrust into the limelight, having to endure unrelenting hounding from the press and the public (Barbara K). Until I read Melanie Benjamin's exquisitely crafted novel, Anne Morrow Lindburgh seemed to be, as the title suggests, simply the aviator's wife. But her remarkable life far outshines that of her famous spouse (Linda P). From the first page, I was hooked and prepared to take flight with Anne Lindbergh on her incredible life journey (Marie D).

Some readers were especially impressed with the depth of Benjamin's characters; interested to learn more about the real dynamics between Charles and Anne:

I am so glad that I read this book. Who knew that Charles Lindbergh was so mean or that Anne was such an accomplished aviatrix in her own right? There is so much more to learn about these two individuals. If what this novel portrays is even partly true, the Lindberghs' story is the perfect proof that no one knows a marriage except the partners and even then one of them may be blind to the truth (Keating V). Even though I knew beforehand the tragic outcome of the kidnapping of the Lindberghs' first child, I found that Melanie Benjamin managed to relate this part of the story with suspense and emotion, with a particular slant on the reaction of Charles at the time and throughout the rest of his life. This novel points up that a hero in private is not always what he seems to be in public (Dorothy T).

And others were spurred on to do more research (or reflect on what they remember) on their own:

What a great story! The author has whet my appetite to want to dig further into the biographies of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles Lindbergh…It was also interesting to note that the media had as profound an effect on celebrities then as it does today (Elizabeth K). It is wonderful to read a fictional version of a story and then research the person's life. This story was particularly interesting as it reminded me of the stories I heard about the Lindberghs as a child. To reflect how I felt then to how I feel now... as a mother and a spouse, was very thought-provoking. (Teresa R). Excellent reading experience that now has me searching out more about this couple – especially Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Marcia M). I enjoyed the book – thought it was worth reading just for the historical perspective (Deborah V). Although this is not the best volume of historical fiction I've read, I'd recommend that you persist to discover how Anne Morrow Lindbergh steps away from her husband's shadow and finds courage to live fully as her own self. The author accomplished one of her goals: this reader has been "inspired to research these remarkable lives" more fully (Beth B). I can tell you I read the last line, grabbed a tissue – then immediately scrounged up my old copy of Gift from the Sea (see backstory). Don't miss this one! (Lois P)

Other readers were captivated by Benjamin's beautiful writing style, which brings the story to life:

A sad, rich story, told from Anne's point of view, beautifully written in words both accessible and poetic (Judy B). 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 (Susan B.) The author's style of writing in the first person allows you to become totally immersed in the character of Anne and all her inner conflicts and insecurities in her early years and the strength she exhibits as she is forced to deal with the realities of her life (Brenda D).

Who should read this book?

I am recommending this book to every woman I know, especially in my age group (68). I was raised to be a wife and mother and put aside any career for myself. We were late bloomers because we put our husband and children first – but we eventually came to know and appreciate ourselves. The next generation should read this to be aware of what their mothers did for them (Joyce W). This is a great book for book clubs as the Lindberghs made several controversial choices in their lives, choices sure to inspire spirited discussion (Teresa M). In this novel, Melanie Benjamin successfully delves into a complex life led by complex characters… A thoroughly enjoyable read – a book club hit! (Marie A)

This review was originally published in January 2013, and has been updated for the November 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Lost Man
    The Lost Man
    by Jane Harper
    36 out of 37 First Impression reviewers gave Jane Harper's third novel, The Last Man, either four or...
  • Book Jacket: Savage Feast
    Savage Feast
    by Boris Fishman
    I adore authors who not only write about the big themes that possess them, but also drop little ...
  • Book Jacket: Lost Children Archive
    Lost Children Archive
    by Valeria Luiselli
    Lost Children Archive is a feast of language and storytelling that chronicles a family road trip ...
  • Book Jacket: The World According to Fannie Davis
    The World According to Fannie Davis
    by Bridgett M. Davis
    Devoted daughter Bridgett M. Davis was always inspired by her mother Fannie, who provided stability,...

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Half-Life of Everything
by Deborah Carol Gang

A beautifully written and uplifting debut novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost Man
    by Jane Harper

    A stunning standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
    by Anissa Gray

    A dazzling debut novel!
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Climate Report

The Climate Report

"The most comprehensive assessment of the effects of climate change on the United States."
–The New York Times

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

B I I T Eye O T B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.