Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 416
Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 15, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There 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 celebrated 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. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne 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.

Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure.

My Review:

This book was such a heart wrenching yet beautiful story of love and always being in the face of the public. Everyone knows about Charles Lindbergh and his impressive flight across the Atlantic, but how much is really known about his personal life and his wife Anne Morrow? This story gives such an in-depth look into Anne's history and how she had to deal with marrying one of the most famous men of that time.

I really loved how Benjamin details the story of how Anne and Charles meet and end up married, everything in their relationship moves so fast in the beginning, you really get a sense of how they really don't know everything about each other. The way Benjamin writes the story made me feel like I was flying at certain points, high in the air and feeling like nothing can touch the characters. But then at other points, Benjamin makes you feel the unease of the characters, exactly as they feel when they are out in front of the public.

I love historical fiction stories that focus on the characters that are not as well known to the public, Anne was definitely on the side lines in her life with Charles, and it is very clearly seen in everything that happens to her. I loved reading more about her life and what she went through over the years, and you really see how being in the public eye all the time effects your life.

I really enjoyed the back and forth Benjamin has in her writing, where readers see Anne Morrow and her children dealing with the death of Charles, and back to see where it all began and how their marriage progressed to all the issues at that point. Many of the things Anne had to deal with was heartbreaking and I always felt bad for her while at the same time, I found myself angry at her for not being stronger and sticking up for herself more often.

Reading this story taught me so much more about Lindbergh than I knew before and really got me interested to read Anne's books for myself to learn about her life through her writing. Benjamin brings out so many of Anne's emotions in her writing, as you watch her lose a child because of being in the public eye so much, and then to reading about Anne raising so many children on her own because her husband is off having all these solo adventures. This is a story that will stay with you and wonder how everything came together for these two people.

1 comment:

  1. I've been dying to read this book. I'm a fan of Anne Morrow Lindburg's writing. Very nice review!!



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