The Aviator's Wife

A Novel

Benjamin, Melanie

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Aviator's Wife
Despite her own major achievements--she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States--Anne Morrow Lindbergh is viewed merely as Charles Lindbergh'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.

Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780345528674
Characteristics: 402 p. ;,22 cm.


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Sep 28, 2014
  • Bookbybook rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

This is the worst book I have read in a long time. If you want to read about either of the Lindbergh's lives I would recommend reading a non-fiction book. The writing is overwrought and under-edited. I would have quit reading it at chapter 2, as others mentioned, except it was for a book club. So I forced myself to finish it. I'm not sure I understand the author's attempt to try to make Anne a sympathetic fictional character in light of the choices Anne made. Certainly, divorce wasn't as common as it is now, but she had the means to leave Charles. As she did not leave Charles, and even supported him in her writing and in public when he revealed his support of the Nazis and anti-Semitism, it seems that either she was weak/abused or agreed with him. Only Anne can tell us which it was. It is beyond presumptuous for the author to speak for Anne on these sorts of topics.

Sep 27, 2014
  • artemishi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Aviator's Wife was difficult to get through. Don't get me wrong- it's well-written, although sometimes the leaps in time and mental meanderings confused me. It's filled with emotion, and you get a good grasp of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's voice. But the characters...

Okay, first, a disclaimer: I know very little about the Lindberghs. As the author's note in the back says, most of us recognize the name but not many truly knew the couple. So I didn't have moments of bubbles being bursted for me, but watching poor Anne's bubble burst was painful.

Mostly, Anne reminded me of my grandmother- a smart, educated, talented woman who became a doormat to her controlling, bullying husband. Considering the similarities, I assume this passivity is not fully a character flaw, but a societal expectation that guided women like Anne and my grandmother into such unhappy states. Badly done, society, badly done.

Because Charles Lindbergh (in this novel, and by all public accounts) was a cold, bullying, pigheaded asshole. Talented, and perhaps too self-vindicated by the hero worship an entire nation heaped upon him, but still an asshole. And reading this book will make you gnash your teeth about it. There were times I didn't care much for Anne, either, but most of the book I was confounded how a woman who wrote Gift from the Sea could stay in this horrible, horrible relationship.

But as painful as the first 3/4 of the book was, it eased up a bit to a triumph ending. Was it worth the read? If you're in the mood for a pensive biography-type historical fiction, and interested in women who lived through such markedly different decades (the 30's, the 40's, the 50's, the 60's, and the 70's) of turmoil and change, then yes. If you're looking for a quick, light, entertaining read, then no.

I recommend this for fans of 20th century historical fiction, Anne Lindbergh, early celebrities of America, and complicated marriages.

Aug 05, 2014

patron review

Poorly written but with redeeming "data" on Lindbergh's views of life. Cannot recommend

Jul 15, 2014
  • barb2576 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Although 'fiction' very interesting, made me curious enough to look up Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Jun 19, 2014
  • lbarkema rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was well written and a fascinating look a the Lindberghs. I was so frustrated with Charles and Anne though, kinda hard to read at times. But I would definitely recommend it!

May 20, 2014
  • veggiegurl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is really good historical fiction with a strong female character. I learned so much about the Lindberghs and really enjoyed the story.

May 04, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This seemed like historical fiction "lite" at the beginning and I almost quit, but it got better as it went along. I plan to read some of Lindbergh's work next out of curiosity. I bet she will turn out to be a better writer.

Mar 24, 2014
  • ltrout rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed this book. She was a strong woman; much stronger than Charles Lindbergh.

Mar 14, 2014
  • mytwin rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A historic/autobiographical/fictional/ feminist perspective on the Charles Linbergh story and that era.It really was an exciting era of change ( as my father always said!)
Women really came into their own in that era and the author gave us an interesting account of one pioneer.

Oct 09, 2013

Sorry, couldn't get into this book. After the second chapter I had to give up. I found the author to be tiresome with her over use of bubbly adjectives and short choppy sentences. She certainly is no Laura Hildebrand. I will wait for the movie, and in this case it should be better than the book.

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May 23, 2014
  • keni415 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book! New respect for Anne Morrow Lindbergh and what she put up with being married to an American hero. He wasn't all he was cut out to be!


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