Customer Reviews for

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

This is an amazing novel, it packed the most emotional punch of

This is an amazing novel, it packed the most emotional punch of any book I have read in years.

posted by AvidReaderWB on January 16, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Got bored with it

A little over halfway through this I was so bored with it I stopped reading. I loved the other books by this author but this one started out interesting and then got progressively duller.

posted by LynnJB on March 19, 2013

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  • Posted January 16, 2013

    This is an amazing novel, it packed the most emotional punch of

    This is an amazing novel, it packed the most emotional punch of any book I have read in years.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    A wonderfully told story of the journey of an American icon thro

    A wonderfully told story of the journey of an American icon through an incredible life. This is the first novel by the author I have read, it was one of those books you begin to read very slowly because you don't want it to end.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Excellent!!!

    It kept my attention and made me want to read more - about thd Lindbergs - more from this author. I have read her other books and this one is a great read - like her others. A job very well done.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It is 1974, and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children have brou

    It is 1974, and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children have brought Charles Lindbergh, Lucky Lindy, home to die. As Anne sits with him in his final days, she reflects back on their lives and what sharing a lifetime with such a famous man has been like. Anne is a senior at Smith College when they meet, while Lindbergh has already completed the solo transatlantic flight from the United States to Paris that made him a hero wherever he goes. He takes her flying, and she instantly adores the sensation. She can't believe that such a man has chosen her as his wife, and agrees, unable to believe her luck. Anne feels she is living a fairy tale.

    But there is a dark side to hero worship. The couple is mobbed wherever they go, the photographers and reporters fighting to get an inch closer, to get their shouted questions answered. They print every detail of the Lindbergh's lives that they can discover. When the couple's toddler son, Charles Junior, is kidnapped and killed, the press is unbearable. Anne can't help but feel that they played a part in the tragedy by singling them out and reporting every detail of their lives.

    Anne comes to realise that life with Charles is on his terms. He is the bravest man she has ever met, and he has an unerring sense that he is always right. Distant emotionally, he plans every minute of his day and expects to plan Anne's also. She is his co-pilot and navigator in those early years, leaving behind her babies whenever he wants her to. As the years go on, she begins to resent his assumption that he and only he knows best in every situation.

    Yet Anne stays with him loyally, unable to imagine a life without this man she loves. She sticks with him during the war years, when his hero's mantle is tarnished by his campaign to keep America out of the war, and by his statements that make him appear anti-Semitic. She stays during the war when Charles finally gets involved and leaves her alone to manage the household and children. She stays during the long years after when he stays away for long stretches, leaving her to raise the family while he attends to business. Anne learns to carve out a life on her own terms, with writing as her saving grace.

    Melanie Benjamin has done a masterful job with this novel. Most readers will learn many things they didn't know about the Lindberghs, who will always be defined by his heroic flight and the kidnapping that was one of the first nationally reported crimes. I didn't know Anne was a pilot in her own right, or that after Charlie's death, they went on to have five other children. This is an interesting book sure to catch the interest of any reader. It is recommended for all readers.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    Historical Fiction at its BEST!!! Historical fiction is a great

    Historical Fiction at its BEST!!! Historical fiction is a great way to learn about events, much more so that reading out of a history book. It truly assists you in relating to this historical persona; allowing insight into their emotions and personalities. If the novel is accurately written, you gain the desire to delve into the history itself, to study more and understand the lives they lead....The Aviator's Wife is such a novel.

    You could have put my "Lindbergh" knowledge in a thimble before reading this fabulous book. 1. He flew the Spirit of St. Louis in a transatlantic flight. 2. Their first child was kidnapped and murdered. Wow! That is so embarrassing to admit.

    This couple accomplished so much as both individuals and as a team, that it is incomprehensible, and yet I don't remember once ever hearing of these achievements.

    Anne is such a strong woman and yet this reveals her weaknesses in a very humble way. I appreciated the candid view of a life full of achievement, but also of loss. It is sad to think that someone had to live a life with no freedom, to live their life without constant scrutiny and bombardment from the press. They were shameless!!!

    Since finishing this book last night, I began reading "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I wanted to read something in her words, just to hear her voice a little longer. In the near future, I will read "Lindbergh" from Scott Berg. I want to get a perspective of Charles' view on his life events.

    I'm not going to give you a breakdown on every aspect of this book. You need to read it for yourself...it is a journey well worth the flight.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I believe all women should read this book and young women need t

    I believe all women should read this book and young women need to know women heroes like Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Anne married a hero and that was a tough choice. The Lindbergh's were hounded by the press in a way that only Princess Di could have empathized with them. She virtually became a prisoner in her own home unable to go out to the theater or to shop. The only time they were free of scrutiny was when they were flying. In the earliest of airplanes, Anne became a pilot, a navigator and Charles' trusted one man crew. The soared before there were Tower controls, other planes, or radio communication. They planned airline routes and explored places that were hard to get to. They were a close couple and Charles called all the shots. Anne just obeyed.  It's the story of a woman trying to find her own voice and her own life. She wanted more than to be the "Ambassador's Daughter", the "Aviator's wife" or the mother of her six children. She accomplished many things on this road and endured tragedy beyond comprehension. In the end, she took charge of her life and responsibility of her actions. She became a mature, grown-up woman.  The novel is entertaining enough if you can bear the pedestrian writing and the endless repetition. It seems to be well researched and doesn't gloss over Lindbergh's Nazi sympathies in the years leading up to WW 2. The description of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby is heartbreaking.      

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Great read

    I would recommend her novels to anyone! They are informative and entertaining and always leave me wanting to know more about the characters and research them more on my own.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin First the cover attracted

    The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
    First the cover attracted me then the words as I love to learn about others' careers and this one is not a letdown. There are many narratives and discussions among the characters about planes-the early days. Remember watching the wing walkers on the Walton's show and how they'd deliver mail by air by in the day. I've yet to travel to see the Kitty Hawk area for ourselves and this book is about Anne and Charles Lindbergh' lives. Book chapter alternate from the 1920 to the 1970s. I do want to visit the Smithsonian museum where the original plane is located.
    Best scene so far is when Anne is taken up in the plane for the very first time, sun just rising and just the feeling she gets. I get something similar when the plane leaves the ground that causes my eyes to water. Such as the pressure of everything has been lifted and there are no worries to concern you, to sit back and enjoy and that's what she does. Love learning about her upbringing-father is a US ambassador and what is expected of her as part of the family. I feel the standards are set high and love her dream of being able to put into words something she experiences.
    Sad to learn that the press followed them around as the paparazzi does still today. After they marry he teaches her everything he knows about flying so she can do what he does and loves doing it with him. Such an accomplished woman.
    Love learning new things: rasher of bacon, and all the new places they travel to, whether it be by air or water or land...
    Anne uncovers family secrets and feels she can tell no one...she is also at the end given letters he had written and with little time left she is able to confront him about the letters..
    Tragedy of the child kidnapping and all she went through sounds like more than a nightmare but a treacherous attack on their lives.
    Returning to military life and politics play a key role with their lives..
    Series of essay titles is just perfect with where she is. Such a strong woman to have endured what she did and follow her dream and live her life.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Got bored with it

    A little over halfway through this I was so bored with it I stopped reading. I loved the other books by this author but this one started out interesting and then got progressively duller.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Being a huge lover of history we all know there are supporting c

    Being a huge lover of history we all know there are supporting characters that elevated those people to the positions they achieved as they made their way into the history books and it's their back stories that make for some interesting reading. We all know about Charles Lindbergh, the man who made his first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, but we know so very little about his wife, Anne Morrow. If you understand anything about the decade in history up to this point, you should understand the role of the wife was to be supportive and to never really air her opinions about anything to anyone. Most of those conversations were usually conveyed in confidence.

    So with that understanding of what Anne's role in a marriage would have been we know in history that women's rights were a hot topic and had been on the minds of women everywhere as they pushed forward to find a voice in the things in the world. This is apparent even in Melanie Benjamin's novel, The Aviator's Wife. Anne Morrow is a smart and successful women in her own right, but her husband Charles cautions her to make sure that he remains the center of focus on both the public and private eye. Many women readers may be put off by that fact, but again historically it was the accepted role for most women to remain silent and supportive. It doesn't mean she didn't have opinions, just wasn't able to voice them the way we do today.

    I think Anne retained her fantasy of marriage in the fact that she was marrying a successful man with a certain celebrity like status. It made certain aspects of their life easier, but also eliminated the privacy that both of them at times would like to maintain. Anne often times feels like the proverbial doormat by her husband's consistent treatment to her to keep her in her place and in her role as a wife and mother. It does take the reader into the real story of Anne's struggle to deal with the changes not only in marriage but in society as well. It's a story of power, struggle, determination, and grace under fire and in the end, shows that in circumstances though the road may be difficult to travel, we can move forward if we simply have the determination to keep getting up and trying.

    I received The Aviator's Wife compliments of Pump Up Your Book Tours and Delacorte Press for my honest review and while I understood certain historical elements, mostly pertaining to Charles Lindbergh, I was delighted to get a sense of what it meant to be the wife of someone famous during those turbulent times in the 20's. I knew it wouldn't be an easy read and for someone to truly appreciate the story, you really have to understand the role of women back in those time periods. The story of how they dealt with the kidnapping and lose of Charles Jr. is heartbreaking, but again shows the determination of Anne to remain focused on keeping her marriage in tact despite all the odds that come their way. I easily rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Subservient Wife

    Since I loved Anne's book Gift of the Sea, I was interested in reading this book. I like historical novels and since I read that this was well-researched, I decided to buy it for my Nook.
    I did not know anything about their relationship but only the well-known heroic flight, the kidnapping, and the Nazi sympathizer. This book delves into their relationship, which at times, made me want to shake Charles to the core! Ironically, the strong hero becomes the weak and the subservient wife becomes the strong one. After reading this book, I will go back to my Gift of the Sea and read it for a second time, only from a different point of view after reading this book. I thought Melanie Benjamin succintly portrayed the fleshing out of what went on behind close doors.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    You should definitely read this book!

    I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel. It was a very interesting perspective of a famous man's "wife". It's so interesting that the man is extrememly well known and the women who did so many "firsts" in her time was relatively unknown--even to the point that her children didn't know all the amazing things she had done. Well written and a book that I couldn't wait to read each day!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    A wonderful read!!

    I have always been interested in Anne Morrow Lindbergh as she went to the same college as my mother who had all her books. This book told her story beautifully and has led me to read AML's own diaries: "Bring Me a Unicorn" and "Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead". It has been interesting and fun to read in her own words what I have read in Melanie Benjamin's biography! AML was an INSPIRED writer, portraying emotions, sights, sounds etc. with incredible beauty and richness! She also brings back a time in our country that is long gone but always interesting to read about. Her "Gift From the Sea" is another fabulous book which makes a great gift! This is a woman who is complex and deep, who fell in love with the greatest hero of her times and of the life they made for themselves and their family despite being ALWAYS in the public eye (which made everything so difficult).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    A different perspective of Charles Lindbergh

    Everyone knows about the kidnapping, but this book is told through the eyes of his wife Ann.
    You get a real feel for who Charles really was and how it was to be his wife. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Well researched and extremely easy to read!

    I have read a number of books and articles concerning the Lindbergh's and this was excellent! Absolutely could not put it down from the moment I started reading it--I hope the author will continue to write about the Lindbergh's and the "other" children fathered by our famous aviator. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

    The excerpt in Good Housekeeping was a very good read. Worth buy

    The excerpt in Good Housekeeping was a very good read. Worth buying the book! 

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    Charles Lindberg - he admired the Nazi's. Had a secret family i

    Charles Lindberg - he admired the Nazi's. Had a secret family in Germany. Everyone should read the Carpenter and the Airman. Not my hero. Anne Lindberg must have put up with a lot.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Excellent Read!

    Our book club really enjoyed discussing the author's fictionalized account of the life Ann Morrow led in the shadow of her famous husband. We all learned some disturbing things about Charles Lindberg. She was definitely a lady to be admired and applauded.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Very enjoyable

    I wasn't familiar with the author or book, but read it on recommendation of a friend. I really enjoyed it and think anyone who is drawn to historical fiction, especially, will, too. The relationship between the main characters is both fascinating and maddening, but in the end, I felt empowered by the strength of character Anne Morrow Lindbergh clearly had.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    I enjoyed this book, and its premise. Sometimes I thought the pr

    I enjoyed this book, and its premise. Sometimes I thought the prose and the characters were a little flat. Other than the main protagonist, I didn't feel like any of the characters were memorable. But a decent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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