Review: The Aviator’s Wife
When she’s in college, Anne Morrow joins her family for Christmas in Mexico, where her father serves as the U. S. Ambassador. While she’s there, she meets handsome aviator Charles Lindbergh but she’s sure he’s attracted to her sister. It’s Anne he wants, though, and the two marry and embark on what should be a fairy tale life.
The Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin, is historical fiction based on the life on Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Benjamin has done her homework on this one – for the most part it’s historically accurate. (She gives details in the author’s note in the back of the book.) Of course, the emotions and conversations are from Benjamin’s imagination, but they they felt right to me.
After their marriage, Anne joined Charles on flights and promotional tours, but her life didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped. She was hounded by the press, her first child was kidnapped and murdered, and her husband wasn’t always there when she needed him. Anne set records of her own, but no one seemed interested in that – they were fascinated with her because she was married to Charles. She was strong and resilient and kept up appearances, though, and I admired her even as her story broke my heart.
I was struck by the way the country worshiped Charles and it occurred to me that we really don’t have heroes like that anymore. Maybe that’s a good thing. It was quite a burden for Charles and he doesn’t come across as sympathetic in this book. This is Anne’s story, and what a story it is! Even though I generally don’t care for historical fiction, I loved this book – it may well be one of my favorites of the year! It’s one you won’t want to miss!
I listened to the audio version of The Aviator’s Wife. It’s narrated by Lorna Raver. I had a little trouble getting into it at first – I think it’s because I thought of Raver as Adelaide from A Land More Kind Than Home – but I adjusted quickly and then became totally captivated by Anne’s story. The audio is on 13 CDs and lasts approximately 16 and a half hours and I highly recommend it.