The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

by Melanie Benjamin
4.1 173

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The Aviator's Wife 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 173 reviews.
AvidReaderWB More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing novel, it packed the most emotional punch of any book I have read in years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.      
Caroler More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
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.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
CarleeCCC More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
MichelleRyan1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Gingy More than 1 year ago
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).
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific writing. Couldnt put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally we hear the perspective of an affluent and famous relationship in an Era thankfully gone by from the woman who lived it. The double standard by which men lived and women had to tolerate. Hope at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thouroughly enjoyed.
CMKmom More than 1 year ago
This is a story about the first trans Atlantic plane crossing and the Lindberg family. With our easy travel these days, it is amazing that this was not always the way it was. I enjoyed reading this - remember reading Mrs. Lindberg's book Gift of the Sea years ago. Lots of detail about the kidnapping of their child and how it affected the family. Just a detail type of story which I enjoyed a lot.
beach1 More than 1 year ago
Very interesting read.