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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review of The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

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For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.
Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.
Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure.

My Review:

Well, let me just say, this was an excellent book.  The writing was excellent and the prose was wonderful.  I did not know a whole lot about the Lindbergh’s before I read this book, other than that Charles was an aviator and their first-born child had been kidnapped and murdered.  I realize this was a work of fiction, but Melanie Benjamin did a very good job with the true historical facts she put in this story.  She was accurate.  I thought this would be a book that would not keep my attention, but boy, was I wrong.  She put in her author’s note, that one thing a historical novelist finds gratifying is that the reader was inspired enough to learn more about the subject, well, Ms. Benjamin, I do plan on finding out more about the Lindbergh’s.  Great job, a thoroughly engrossing book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Melanie Benjamin is the author of the nationally bestselling Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.
Her latest book is the historical fiction, The Aviator’s Wife.
Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

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