Author: Melanie Benjamin
Genre: Historical Fiction
What’s it about? A realistic look into the public and private lives of Anne Morrow and her famous aviator husband, Charles Lindbergh. Melanie Benjamin takes on a well-known subject and fills in the gaps by letting the reader imagine how Morrow felt during her early marriage and later when Charles left her and their five children alone for long stretches.
Benjamin also describes how Lindbergh’s career changes as flight technology advances and he takes on more advisory roles. His pro-Nazi comments made him a controversial figure in the late 1930s and his alliance with Henry Ford, a known anti-Semite, made him extremely unpopular during this time and ruined his long friendship with the Guggenheims.
How did you hear about it? I always have my eye out for stories about Charles Lindbergh because of the bigger story behind the glamour of his aviator feats, especially the media sensation during the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. I also read Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh years ago and liked learning about Morrow’s life and her ideas. This was before I knew about Lindbergh’s double life in Europe, in which he had long-term relationships with three women and fathered two children with one and another with a sister. I wanted to read The Aviator’s Wife to learn more about Anne Morrow.
Closing comments: So many times the people who do great things are selfishly focused, unable to see either left or right, only straight ahead. I think this must be how Charles was. Anne found her own way to shine, by being a mother, by writing and by forming her own important relationships. In the end, Benjamin gives us a realistic picture of what might have been said between Anne and Charles throughout their marriage and during Charles’ final days.
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