The Aviator's Wife

The Aviator's Wife

A Novel

Book - 2013
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In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, acclaimed novelist Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America's most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
"The history [is] exhilarating. . . .  The Aviator's Wife soars." -- USA Today

When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, 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 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. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she 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.
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Praise for The Aviator's Wife
"Remarkable . . . The Aviator's Wife succeeds [in] putting the reader inside Anne Lindbergh's life with her famous husband." -- The Denver Post

"Anne Morrow Lindbergh narrates the story of the Lindberghs' troubled marriage in all its triumph and tragedy." -- USA Today
"[This novel] will fascinate history buffs and surprise those who know of her only as 'the aviator's wife.' " --People
"It's hard to quit reading this intimate historical fiction." --The Dallas Morning News
"Fictional biography at its finest." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Utterly unforgettable." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An intimate examination of the life and emotional mettle of Anne Morrow." -- The Washington Post

"A story of both triumph and pain that will take your breath away." --Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2013.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345528681
Branch Call Number: BENJAMIN
Characteristics: 402 pages ; 22 cm.


From the critics

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Oct 23, 2017

This novel shows that sometimes the life that you have chosen has more heartbreak than love and happiness.

Check out my review of "The Aviator's Wife" on my blog at:

Dec 02, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have been a fan of Anne Morrow Lindbergh since first reading her own book, "A Gift From the Sea" ---- so it was fascinating to find out more about her life and marriage to the famous Charles Lindbergh. The ending was a surprise. If you like historical fiction, I would absolutely recommend this book.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

An historical fiction novel set in a more modern era, this was not a book I expected to like as much as I did. How fascinating to learn the intricacies of such an extraordinary couple struggling with sometimes very ordinary constraints of the times in which they lived. I was impressed by the emotional depth given to Anne, the book carries an air of honesty to it.

Oct 15, 2016

I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much about the story before I started reading it but I learned a lot and it has made me curious to read about the actual history of the Lindburgh's! I definitely recommend this!

CatherineG_1 Dec 19, 2015

Melanie Benjamin's book starts off slowly with how the Lindberghs met until his death in 1974.
The author said she blended facts and some fiction to write this story.
Loved learning more about Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her role as a pioneer in aviation history.
Was disappointed about some of the startling facts she shared about Charles Lindbergh.

Oct 20, 2015

I have read ALL of Anne Morrow's published books, as well as those of her daughter, Reeve Morrow, which brought insight as to her parents' relationship. I also read "Anne Morrow Lindberg, Her Life", by Susan Hertog. I would highly recommend Reeve and Ms. Hertog's books. Ms Hertog spent five years researching Anne's life, complete with many interviews with Anne herself and access to personal family papers. Her book is the TRUE story (endorsed and supported by Anne herself). I have not read Benjamin's book, nor do I care to do so. Fictional biography is just that, FICTION (as well as any "emotions" therein). If you want the true story, please read Ms. Hertog's excellent book, as well as Reeve's and Anne's own diaries.

Oct 20, 2015

I enjoyed the book and found the writing competent. It was not easy for a woman from that era to stand out for herself. I learned about the Lindberghs. Benjamin states in a note at the end that the fictional part is all in the emotions of the characters - I find her account realistic. She writes that even journals and autobiographies are self-censored when it comes to emotions, and I find her exploration into the emotions of Charles and Anne to be competently developed. Benjamin is a good writer of historical fiction and I follow her publications with interest.

May 10, 2015

read this for book club. can't recommend it. writing not great and the fake ending puts an unfair spin on Anne's life. the positive is that it has sent me to investigate who AML really was through some of her own writing and that of her daughter Reeve.

Sep 28, 2014

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

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.

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keni415 May 23, 2014

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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