The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

"An eager young wife who had been shaped just like every other eager young wife of my generation… by her husband".

The Aviator’s Wife gives a unique look through the eyes of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh. This story shows the couple’s life together from beginning to end, taking historical accounts and giving them a realistic edge. From the poignant kidnapping of their firstborn child, to the Lindberghs’ infamous involvement with the early Nazi party, readers see the oppression that Anne faces, rarely ever able to voice her thoughts and emotions to her dispassionate husband. This story truly shows the damaging effects of fame that few realize exist.

I often found myself frustrated with the main character, expecting her to stand up to her husband, wondering why such a privileged woman allowed her life to veer in such a miserable direction. I understand that her position as the obedient wife is pretty typical for her time, but her thoughts were too often the opposite of what her husband expected them to be. I can only think of two times in the entire book that the character stated that she was truly happy; once when her six month trip around the world met an abrupt halt, and she was once again reunited with her firstborn child. The second was when she was in her fifties, when Anne found her own little niche in an apartment away from her now empty family home with new friends, and began an affair with a sensitive doctor.  Charles was always away on trips, as he was never able to stay in one place, and Anne tended to prefer it this way. In the end, everything is tied into a neat little bow. Anne decides she does not regret the very often lonely life that she has lived as the wife of an aviator full of an insatiable wanderlust. She has finally published a great story, and people have begun to recognize and appreciate her for who she is, and not as merely an extension to her husband. The story is, however, very historically accurate, and I would recommend this book to fans of the time, the Lindbergh family, or aviation.

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Becca, Answers.