Updated: Apr 5, 2018
Just recently, my mom had sorted through a closet and found a bag full of books I had left after moving out of my parent's home. I had not touched the bag of books in years, and honestly, had forgotten that they existed. So when my mom gave the bag of books to me I was surprised but thrilled to see what books I had hidden in the bag. Though most of the books were novels I had read years ago, there was one book in particular I had yet to open. Even though I had about twenty new, unread books on my bookshelf, I decided to start this one, and I am so glad that I did.
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a New York Times Bestseller, published in 2013. The novel follows the intriguing life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh. The novel can be viewed as both historical fiction and fictional biography, as the book delves into the life of the famous flying couple through Anne's eyes. The book begins with Anne and Charles on a plane in 1974, yet quickly time travels back to 1927, when Anne is a young woman in college. Anne's story continues to be recounted chronologically, yet every few chapters, readers are welcomed back to 1974 in the days of Charles's death.
Readers are able to witness a beautiful metamorphosis as Anne's story unfolds from her being a young woman in college, to becoming the wife of famous Charles Lindbergh, his copilot, the mother of six children, an esteemed author, and finally a widow. The hardships Anne faced as a mother, wife, and woman, are so intimately detailed, it feels as if one is reading straight from her diary. Throughout the book readers come to know Anne as more than Charles Lindbergh's wife, as she develops and follows her own hopes, goals, and dreams. Her transformation from "reliable" Anne Morrow, to the accomplished Anne Morrow Lindbergh is beautifully captured in The Aviator's Wife.
The detail written into each event and person gives life once more to the people who once lived this truly astounding life. At times I was overwhelmed with emotion, as I felt a true connection to Anne and her story. As a reader, it was interesting to emotionally connect to events that actually occurred in Anne's life. Though I was frustrated at times with Anne, I admired her intelligence, strength, and perseverance. As I began to learn the secrets of Charles Lindbergh, I began to despise the man that the world held on such a high pedestal, yet I couldn't help but admire him just as Anne did.
In the author's note at the end of the book, Melanie Benjamin wrote that she wanted to inspire readers to learn more about the Lindberghs, especially Anne. I had not known much about the Lindberghs prior to starting the novel, but once I began reading, and before knowing that Benjamin's goal was to inspire curiosity, I went online and researched the Lindbergh's to find out more about this famous family. There real life and their life depicted in The Aviator's Wife is truly remarkable. In the end, Melanie Benjamin also wrote that she aimed to make Anne the heroine of her own story. The Aviator's Wife is inspiring in its depiction of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, as it inspires women to be independent, have goals and reach them, and follow one's own heart. This fictional biography is fabulously written, and allows readers an intimate look into the lives of what used to be America's most famous family.
Editor's Note: Though I have had this book for a while and did not buy it for myself, I have listed the information below if you are interested in purchasing the book.
The Aviator's Wife
By: Melanie Benjamin
Paperback, 448 pages (Includes Author's Note, Reader's Guide, and Sample from Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
Published by Bantam (November 26, 2013)
Purchase on Amazon.com for $9.84