Reader reviews and comments on The Aviator's Wife, plus links to write your own review.

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The Aviator's Wife

by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator's Wife
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 416 pages
    Nov 2013, 448 pages

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There are currently 26 reader reviews for The Aviator's Wife
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Linda P. (Rockport, ME) (12/10/12)

The Aviator's Wife
Until I read Melanie Benjamin's exquisitely crafted novel, Anne Morrow Lindburgh seemed to be, as the title suggests, simply the aviator's wife. How wrong I was. Her remarkable life far outshines that of her famous spouse. She was his co-pilot around the globe (a fact I did not know until I read the novel) and the first American woman to earn a glider pilot's license; she was the single parent of the couple's six children – not just the mother of one son whose young life ended so tragically; she became a bestselling author. Most important of all, she was a woman who wasn't afraid to step out of the shadows of her husband's fame to seek personal fulfillment and happiness.

I thought the way Benjamin jogged between 1974 and 1927 as she told the couple's complicated story through Anne's voice was especially effective in demonstrating the steadfastness of her loyalty to a man who throughout their marriage offered numerous chances for her to abandon the relationship.

I highly recommend this book, but don't stray too far from the Kleenex box as you read. If you loved The Paris Wife and Loving Frank (especially) I expect that you'll enjoy Anne Lindburgh's story.
Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA) (12/06/12)

Fascination with the Lindberghs
I, like many others, have always been fascinated with the Lindberghs and eagerly began this book. How little I knew about the famous aviator! I feel that he was Lucky Lindy mainly because he chose a wife so wisely. She was the "glue" that enabled their family to endure heartwrenching sadness and the horrid effects of celebrity.

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.
Joyce W. (Rochester, MN) (12/06/12)

The Aviator's Wife
Wonderful book! One of the best books I have read. I can't say enough about the author's writing. She is amazing; I plan to read her other books now. Everyone knows the basic story of Charles and Anne, but this gives the details and the emotional life they lived. The book flows making it an easy read; you feel you are in the book feeling Anne's love, excitement, despair, heartache, strength and awakening. Anne was enthralled and controlled by Charles. She discovers her talents and strengths as she realizes Charles flaws. She was an amazing woman. 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.
Brenda D. (Lincoln, CA) (12/05/12)

The Aviator's Wife
It is difficult to put fictionalized words into such public and iconic figures as the Lindberghs. I realize a lot of research went into the writing, but I did have to remind myself quite often that this is "historical fiction."

There is an old saying about all our idols have feet of clay -- well, this certainly illustrates that. If you can look past the fact that "the aviator," Charles Lindbergh, is portrayed as a cold, unemotional, driven and not very likeable man, you will find a fascinating story of a marriage and a woman, Anne, his wife.

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. She married a "hero," and he had to remain that hero at all costs, especially to himself. Failure was never an option and she always struggled with having to live up to that high ideal.

I think the book will definitely appeal to those who like historical fiction. Book groups will find many discussable issues. For more insight into this interesting couple, I would highly suggest reading the books recommended in the "Author's Notes" section at the end of the book.
Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA) (12/05/12)

The Aviator's Wife
What a great story! The author has wet my appetite to want to dig further into the biographies of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles Lindbergh. His personal determination and organization overpowered all who had contact with him, including his family. It was also interesting to note that the media had as much a profound effect on celebrities then, as it does today. The highs and lows of this marriage are presented in a very readable and appealing way. I highly recommend this book for all age groups.
Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY) (12/03/12)

What the History Books didn't Tell!
This beautiful, compelling novel is the unfolding of a love story, a slice of aviation history & reveals what happens when a couple is thrust into the limelight, having to endure unrelenting hounding from the press & the public showing "the dark side of fame". It is also the story of a woman's place in society during this period of time, so despite all that Anne accomplished as Charles' co-pilot, she was always in her husband's shadow. Lastly, it reveals that the public hero, Charles Lindbergh, had aberrations , one of which was his 'justified' cruelty to his children.
I highly recommend this book.
Marcia M. (Woburn, MA) (12/03/12)

Historical Reading Flight
We know the main characters--Anne Morrow and Colonel Charles Lindbergh. We learn more about the highs and lows of their complicated marriage at the hand of Melanie Benjamin in this far-reaching historical fiction story spanning the late 1920s to the mid 1960s. Excellent reading experience that now has me searching out more about this couple--especially Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Keating V. (11/29/12)

A Story You Won't Find in the History Books
I am so glad that I read this book. Who knew the 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. The author certainly succeeded in that regard: leaving the reader with the desire to learn more. I guess I will start by reading Gift from the Sea and The Spirit of St. Louis and then move to the biographies. The author provides a very helpful reference list. 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.

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