The Aviator’s Wife


The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Pub: January 2013

A novelization of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life, her marriage to the famous Charles Lindbergh, the tragedy of their son’s kidnapping, and her struggle to find herself in her husband’s shadow.

I trusted Charles Lindbergh, the man who had conquered the sky, to bring me safely back to earth.

Having read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald not too long ago, I found a lot of similarities in this one.  Like Z, this book is a novel based on the real events of a woman and her larger-than-life, widely-acclaimed, then widely-pitied husband, the struggles they endured together, and the things that eventually tore them apart.  Like Z, it takes place in an era of excitement and change in the world, and I loved how both novels really put the reader smack-dab in the center of it, through the eyes of a woman who was in the middle of it, yet had very little power over it.

The final hundred pages or so, though, I didn’t really care for.  Somewhere along the line the story became another typical book-club story about a woman’s mid-life crisis and how a wife and mom can’t really know who she is until she goes off on her own and rediscovers herself (usually with the help of at least one extramarital affair).  It’s hard to fault the author, who was just following what actually happened, but it made the whole book end on a low note for me.

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