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Review: The Aviator’s Wife

March 26, 2013

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.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
43 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    March 26, 2013 6:16 am

    So many people have loved this, even though the idea of it hasn’t grabbed me. OK. I’ll go see if my library has it on audio…

  2. March 26, 2013 6:54 am

    This sounds good Kathy!

  3. March 26, 2013 7:10 am

    Wow! This books sounds amazing! I definitely want to read it and find out about Anne – the Lindbergh’s have always intrigued me.

  4. Beth F permalink
    March 26, 2013 7:21 am

    I have been wanting to read this one since it came out. Unlike Sandy, I was immediately attracted to it. Now to make time to read…

  5. March 26, 2013 7:48 am

    I am really looking forward to reading this one.

  6. therelentlessreader permalink
    March 26, 2013 7:48 am

    I’ve wanted to read this and I don’t know why I haven’t made the time. I’m off to request it from the library…thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  7. March 26, 2013 8:32 am

    Wow, high praise! Glad to see because I won a copy 🙂

  8. March 26, 2013 8:43 am

    I’m glad you liked this as much as I did! 🙂

  9. March 26, 2013 9:05 am

    I was already interested in this one, now I’m intrigued! I’ve always found Lindberg fascinating. I have to get my hands on this one.

  10. March 26, 2013 9:49 am

    So glad you liked this one! The author did a fantastic job of getting us into Anne’s world and the life both as an aviator and the wife to a world famous one.

  11. bookingmama permalink
    March 26, 2013 10:16 am

    Can’t wait for this one!!! Sounds like a book that I’d love.

  12. March 26, 2013 10:20 am

    I loved this one, too. Glad you enjoyed it!

  13. March 26, 2013 11:13 am

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh has always fascinated me, especially since I discovered what a hard life she had. She remained strong and dignified in the face of the loss of her firstborn son, her husband’s infidelities, illness in her family, and the fame she didn’t want. I’m not sure about a fictional account of her life though. Have to think about it.

  14. March 26, 2013 12:01 pm

    I think part of the reason we don’t have heroes like that anymore is because now we actually find out about their “human” aspects, of which they all seem to have many! :–) (In Lindberg’s case, his mistress and other kids, his racism, his cruelty, etc.)

  15. March 26, 2013 1:12 pm

    I had your list right in front of me last night as I downloaded a couple others…. (rather than this one) ha hah a… but I still have credits to use, so maybe next time. I think rhapsodyinbooks is right: we know too much about them too soon nowadays.

  16. March 26, 2013 1:35 pm

    I steered clear of this one because of the Historical Fiction aspect of the story. It’s not ever a genre i reach for but you’ve certainly made this one sound good.

  17. zibilee permalink
    March 26, 2013 2:01 pm

    I just downloaded this one on audio, and I am hoping that I love it as well. It sounds like a tremendous story. I will have to let you know what I think. I have heard so many great things about this book, and though I was previously uninterested in the Lindberghs I am really rather interested in it now.

  18. March 26, 2013 2:08 pm

    I recently finished reading this book and found it quite engrossing although I wanted to shake Ann every now and then. What an eye-opening story!


  19. March 26, 2013 2:57 pm

    I’m glad to hear that it is mostly historically accurate and I have it as an ebook to read and look forward to reading it.

  20. March 26, 2013 2:59 pm

    Not a huge historical fiction gal myself so I’ve not been all that excited about this one, but since I do know so much about the kidnapping and Charles himself, seeing it from Anne’s perpsective is intriguing.

  21. March 26, 2013 3:38 pm

    If it could be one of your favorites this year, I’m going have to make time to read it.

  22. March 26, 2013 4:03 pm

    It sounds like a good book, maybe I should have taken it upon myself to read this when I had the chance.

  23. March 26, 2013 4:57 pm

    I like that it is her story not his. I hope I do get to it.

  24. lab1990 permalink
    March 26, 2013 5:02 pm

    This does sound quite good and I don’t read much historical fiction either. That’s awful about her first child!

    Lauren from

  25. Patty permalink
    March 26, 2013 5:15 pm

    I knew you would love this book…it was one of my faves…

  26. March 26, 2013 7:02 pm

    I picked this one up from Net Galley a little while back…it immediately grabbed my attention 🙂 Can’t wait to dig in!

  27. March 26, 2013 8:16 pm

    I read another review about it yesterday and as much as I adore historical fiction I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet! I don’t know hardly anything about Anne Lindbergh except her baby was kidnapped and murdered (something I cannot even comprehend). I’m going to be picking this one up soon!

  28. March 26, 2013 9:46 pm

    Wonderful review, Kathy. I love Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s beautifully written book, Gift from the Sea, and would probably enjoy reading about her life.

  29. March 26, 2013 10:30 pm

    I really enjoyed this one too. I was surprised too, to see how worshiped they were (especially him).

  30. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 27, 2013 9:48 am

    This sounds good. I was going to pass on it but I keep hearing great things.

  31. March 27, 2013 12:24 pm

    I loved this book as well. It will be one of my favorites this year I’m sure. I bet the audio was great. I like Lorna Raver as a narrator.

  32. March 27, 2013 3:04 pm

    I really enjoy historical fiction when it’s done well, so based on the handful of reviews I’ve read I think I’d like this one. Glad you enjoyed it!

  33. March 27, 2013 3:47 pm

    That’s high praise considering you are not the biggest fan of historical fiction. I think I’d like to try the audio sometime.

  34. March 27, 2013 4:04 pm

    This sounds like an interesting book; I always love getting a different perspective on a historical figure, and Lindbergh’s wife certainly had some emotional experiences, even from the outside. I’m hit or miss with historical fiction usually, but this sounds like a definite win. Great review!

  35. March 27, 2013 4:22 pm

    this sounds wonderful. i’m going to add it to my audio wishlist!

  36. March 27, 2013 8:32 pm

    Oh I’m so glad to hear this one is so good!

  37. March 27, 2013 8:32 pm

    With you saying this will be a fave for the year and that you don’t even really like historical fiction absolutely has my attention!!!!!

  38. March 27, 2013 9:22 pm

    Oh yes! I’m interested in the Lindberghs, especially Anne. It sounds fascinating to me. I’m game for it. thanks

  39. March 28, 2013 4:10 pm

    Read this in print and enjoyed it just as much.

  40. April 2, 2013 4:17 pm

    I have heard quite a lot of good things about this book. My boyfriend’s mother is currently reading it and recently recommended it to me. I hope that when I do get around to reading it, I enjoy it as much as you seemed to have.

  41. April 7, 2013 7:05 am

    I’m not a historical fiction fan either, but loved this book, too. It was well done.

  42. May 1, 2013 7:24 pm

    For anyone who has more than a surface knowledge of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, The Aviator’s Wife presents her life in a frivolous and disparaging manner, with countless inaccuracies of the facts of her life, but more importantly, with an erroneous sense of who she was, her accomplishments and her sense of self. So much of this can be found in Reeve’s latest book of her mother’s letters and diaries, Against Wind and Tide. Mrs. Lindbergh was a woman of great substance — highly educated, incredibly literate and wonderfully expressive in her writing. I give classes and presentations on this remarkable woman, so this portrayal of Mrs. Lindbergh in The Aviator’s Wife is very disturbing to me. More can be learned about the real Mrs. Lindbergh through my blog Tea With Mrs. Lindbergh at

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