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The Aviator's Wife

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  50,627 Ratings  ·  6,153 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Delacorte Press
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Rosemarie Watkins Yes! If it weren't a book club selection, I wouldn't have read past the first page. I know the author is speaking as Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but she's…moreYes! If it weren't a book club selection, I wouldn't have read past the first page. I know the author is speaking as Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but she's made to sound like a very repetitive idiot. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Nicole I wondered the same thing...

Community Reviews

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Rating = 2.5 stars

The Lindberghs had been married for almost 40 years when Tammy Wynette sang "Stand By Your Man" in 1968, but it's a song Anne Morrow Lindbergh could have written about her relationship with aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Givin' all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand.

But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him, oh be
Stuart Smith
Oct 09, 2012 Stuart Smith rated it it was amazing
Really strong Historical fiction. At first I didn't think I liked how anti-feminist it seemed to be, but then it really knocked me on my ass and became a really strong female empowerment story. I really didn't know much about the Lindbergh's and only had a small interest in them. But what I found most fascinating was the outlines aabout the birth of the paparazzi in their story. They were the first power couple to have their lives become so public that they couldn't have anything sacred and priv ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it
How does one rate a book in which the author does such a wonderful job with the story---but to the point that one dislikes the characters? This is the trouble I had with The Aviator's Wife. I knew very little about Charles and Anne Lindbergh, but had seen pretty decent reviews of the book. While I really enjoyed Benjamin's writing style---and look forward to her next venture into historical fiction---I almost put the book down without finishing it because Charles Lindbergh was such a misogynisti ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Patty rated it it was amazing
The Aviator's Wife
Melanie Benjamin

My " in a nutshell" summary...

This is a novel about Anne she met and married Charles Lindbergh and the life they shared..the joys...their sorrows...their tragedies.

My thoughts after reading this book...

My first surprise was the gentle way this novel reached out to me. From the start I understood that Anne Morrow felt differently about life. She wasn't as pretty and popular as her sisters...she was quiet...introspective...probably a bit insecure a
Feb 22, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was incredible. This is the story of the relationship between Anne and Charles Lindberg told from her perspective. It's historical fiction and I gained so much insight from reading this book.

UPDATE: I wanted to add a more thoughtful review because I have been thinking about this book so much since I read it. This book is told from the perspective of Anne Morrow Lindberg, beginning when she is a daughter of the US Ambassador to Mexico. She meets Charles Lindberg and they marr
Emily Crowe
This book is turning out to be both a serious drag and a disappointment. Poorly edited, with lots of bad grammar unbefitting an ambassador's daughter and a Smithie in the 1920s.

I doubt very much at this point that I'll bother with finishing it. But we'll see...

...Apparently the story was sticking with me more than I thought, and I kind of wanted to at least get to the kidnapping part of the story, and that's when the interest level kicked in for me.

Anne Lindbergh still made me want to slap her
Jan 19, 2013 Almeta rated it really liked it
Shelves: flick-lit
The events in this book read like a novel. Wait this is a novel! The historical events are all true, but did Anne Morrow Lindbergh really think the way “The Aviator's Wife” thought?

Are Melanie Benjamin's characters' traits just speculation; a narrative to try to explain Anne’s actions? Making what seemed irrational decisions match with fictional internal dialog? According to Virnell Ann Bruce, who wrote a one-woman play on Mrs. Lindberg, Anne’s thoughts would not have turned out this way.

Nov 12, 2012 Misfit rated it really liked it
This book covers events that are known history, some of which will be discussed in this review. In the event that you are not familiar with the Lindbergh kidnapping, this review might seem a bit spoilerish. Consider yourself warned.

Anne Morrow is the daughter of the US ambassador to Mexico, and as such she's gently raised and well-educated, but life takes a bit of a turn when she catches the eye of aviator Charles Lindbergh and her quiet, ordered life is gone forever. Crossing the Atlantic solo
Feb 21, 2013 Beccie rated it did not like it
2/21/13: I'm starting this book with great trepidation and am ready to put it down and stop reading it if necessary. Anne Morrow Lindbergh is one of my heroes. I've read many of her books of diaries and letters and Gift From the Sea. I think she was a remarkable woman for her time. She dealt with fame and heartbreak in the public eye her whole married life. At least that's how I've always seen her, so if this book starts to tilt me in a different direction I will stop reading. I would rather kno ...more
I eagerly awaited the arrival of 'The Aviator's Wife' by Melanie Benjamin, it sounded like a great book that might be perfect for my book club. We generally like books with strong female protagonists that examine women's issues. I'd never read anything about the Lindbergh's but I enjoy fiction set during the 1920s which is when this story begins. I'd read other readers' reviews and everyone gave the book high marks, though some said the beginning was a bit slow.

I don't have any aversion to books
Jan 09, 2013 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is a wonderful literary fiction. I knew a little about Charles Lindbergh and after this book I have a different perspective of him. He seemed to be a difficult man who had to have everything his way. Even if he wasn’t home, things had to be ran the way he wanted it. The kids had to follow very detailed schedules, they had books they were supposed to read and Ann was supposed to keep inventory of everything in the house including how many shampoo bottles there were while he flew around the w ...more
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I was excited about getting the chance to read The Aviator's Wife before the official release. Really excited. What I wasn't expecting was how much I would outright enjoy Melanie Benjamin's interpretation of Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

From the moment her engagement was announced in the papers, the real Anne Morrow was defined by her relationship with Charles. Even today her story lives largely in the shad
Jan 25, 2013 Chrissie rated it it was ok
I feel the author fails to capture the intelligence, spirit and courage of Anne Morrow Lindbergh - aviator, author and wife of the famed Charles Lindbergh. For this reason I cannot give more than two stars. Anne is drawn as weak, without self-reliance and totally dominated by her husband. The author acknowledges to a small extent Anne’s growth and self-reliance when she reaches her fifties. I base my belief in Anne’s strength having read articles on internet and the two books Lindbergh and Gift ...more
May 05, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it
Anne Morrow, the quiet daughter of a U.S. ambassador, was thrilled to be invited for a plane ride piloted by Charles Lindbergh. He was a famous American hero after his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. After they were married in 1929, Charles brought adventure into Anne's life as she earned her pilot's license and flew as co-pilot on many important flights with him. But their marriage was far from ideal since Charles was very cool and regimented, always wanting to be in charge of an ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Jean rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant account of what very well may have been the life of Anne Morrow Lindburgh. Since it is a novel, we know it isn't all fact. But Benjamin has certainly hit the nail on the head. I will always think of Anne as she is portrayed here.

Many novels are touted to be like THE PARIS WIFE or LOVING FRANK, in that they are as good. But this one truly is.

I can't wait to begin handselling it at the store. My review for Naples Daily News will run closer to pub date.

Cudos to you, Melanie Be
Mar 13, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a 2013 Delacorte Press publication.

I vaguely remember hearing some buzz about this book a few years back, but, like so many books I intend to investigate, this one fell off my radar and I actually forgot all about it. Then I picked up “The Swans of Fifth Avenue” and it was so good, I went straight to my Overdrive account and checked out “Alice, I Have Been” and this book… The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin.

This book is a work of fiction based on th
Sep 26, 2013 Cher rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

Prior to reading this historical fiction novel, I knew very little about the Lindberghs; only that he was a record setting aviator and that they had a child whom had been kidnapped for ransom money...and I knew absolutely nothing about Charles' remarkable wife, Anne. I felt a bit better about this ignorance however, when I read in the author's note that many people today are only vaguely familiar with the Lindbergh story. If that is also the case for you
Susan Johnson
I found this book remarkable from the beginning to the end. It's the story of a woman trying to find her own voice and her own life. She wanted more than to be the "Ambassador's Daughter", the "Aviator's wife" or the mother of her six children. She accomplished many things on this road and endured tragedy beyond comprehension. In the end, she took charge of her life and responsibility of her actions. She became a mature, grown-up woman.

Anne married a hero and that was a tough choic
I was so excited to read this book but was extremely let down by the story. This book did not engage me the same way as the Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Although the great Charles Lindbergh was a historic contributor to the world, he was also a rude narcissistic control freak. He never had any regard for Anne's feelings. The very fact that he cremated their first born without Anne seeing the baby was deplorable! I was outraged when Charles pressured Anne to publicly support his advocacy for the N ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Anne Morrow the quiet, unassuming daughter. Anne Morrow the shy sister of Elisabeth Morrow who hid in Elisabeth's shadow. Anne Morrow the woman no one thought would marry before her beautiful sister, Elisabeth married. Anne Morrow.....who did marry and who married a famous man....Charles Lindbergh, behind whom she continued to be a shadow.

Anne's life was beautifully detailed by Ms. Benjamin in terms of Anne's feelings and personality especially during the kidnapping. The era was nicely portrayed
Diane Barnes
Jan 26, 2013 Diane Barnes rated it really liked it
This book was completely different from what I was expecting, in that it was much better. I thought it would be a lighter book about a perfect marriage with the tragedy of the kidnapping to deal with. What I got was a great historical novel that showed me how much I didn't know about Lindbergh and his times, shown through the eyes of his wife Anne. Aside from the aviation genius and hero that he was, Charles Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer, an outspoken anti-semite, a cold and demanding father, ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Bobbi rated it really liked it
I knew it will be one of my favorites for 2013 and it was. I knew very little about the marriage of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh - I of course knew about his flight to Paris in The Spirit of St. Louis and the kidnapping of their baby but had no idea that they had 5 other children or that Anne was an accomplished pilot and traveled with him as his co-pilot in the early years of aviation mapping routes still used by airlines. He had many accomplishments and some failures not only in ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I've been reading this book off and on for over 3-4 weeks, as it is my book clubs December book to read. I actually suggested it as no one in our group had read it. Man, what a downer this is. I'm bored. Nothing really is grabbing and holding my attention with this book. I hope someone from the group is enjoying this, or this month's choice is a sure let down.
Nov 14, 2012 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Advanced Reader’s Copy: Expected publish date is listed as Jan 15 2013 by Random House Publishing Group, under the imprint of Delacorte Press
This is not the first time out of the box for Melanie Benjamin, and it shows in every line.

“The Aviator’s Wife” is a wonderfully drawn character exploration of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who’s accomplishments are mostly dwarfed by those of her famous husband and the tragic loss of her eldest child. I honestly was not aware that Anne Morrow was a pilot and navig
Jan 29, 2016 Angie rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Let me preface my review by saying that my foreknowledge of the Lindbergh family was extremely basic. Most everything I knew could be summed up thus: Charles, first man to fly solo across Atlantic Ocean, and had a child that got kidnapped. Didn't even know his wife's name! As the book opened, I wasn't sure if I would even like reading about them but had loved a previous book by Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been) and wanted to give this a try. I was totally and completely captivated b
I've been a fan of Melanie Benjamin since I met her shortly before her first book, "Alice I Have Been", was published. And I've read and loved quite a bit by Anne Morrow Lindbergh ("Gift From the Sea") and her daughter, Reeve ("No More Words" as well as many, many children's books). Imagine how profound my delight was to read a book by Melanie about Anne and her family. Not a single page disappointed, and I truly believe that this is Benjamin's best book yet. Her meticulous historical research s ...more
Megan Mccann
Feb 23, 2013 Megan Mccann rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. The only reason I give it two stars instead of one is that I really love historical fiction, and this is a story I was interested in learning more about. The Aviator's Wife reads more like a journal than a book. I got so sick of reading the minute details of the narrator's thoughts that I finally put it down forever about three-quarters through the book. I hated Ann. She is depicted as such a boring, nothing of a woman, always putting off her own wants and need ...more
Kate Hilton
Aug 18, 2015 Kate Hilton rated it it was amazing
This is a fictional account of the famous Lindbergh marriage, told from the point of view of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the shy, bookish daughter of an ambassador and a suffragette, who captures the attention of the most eligible bachelor in the world. Charles Lindbergh, the aviation pioneer, is a reserved, complicated man, and a difficult husband to manage, particularly after the horrific kidnapping and murder of their firstborn child. The novel doesn't lack for plot - the Lindberghs lived through ...more
Oct 16, 2013 Nancy rated it it was ok
Recommended to Nancy by: Marjean
Shelves: book-group
It was interesting to learn more about the Lindberghs.

However, this book never really held my interest or had me wanting to keep reading. I have to assume that was due to the writing. There were times when the writing felt very 'teen girlish' and that doesn't appeal to me.

I think it would be better to read actual biographies if you want to learn more about Charles or Anne and their lives and family.

And I may just have to pull out 'Gift From the Sea' and read that again.
Jul 16, 2013 Krystal rated it it was amazing
This book was beautiful. It was raw, and heartbreaking in places; but beautifully done. It was real. It never tied itself up in a neat little bow. It was complex, and deep. It was unfair, and unresolved. It was life. I liked the stream of consciousness narrative. I fell in love with Anne, the main character, as she copes with the unexpected ups and downs of marriage, fame, and life, while trying to find herself, and figure out what it means to be a woman. Historical fiction has always been my ge ...more
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Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, a novel about Truman Capote and his high society "Swans," will be out in January 2016. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons. She's currently at work on her next hi ...more
More about Melanie Benjamin...

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“Mother shook her head impatiently. 'You need to...stop looking for heroes, Anne.' Her speech was slow, slurred, but understandable. 'Only the weak need...heroes...and heroes need...those around them to remain weak. You're...not weak.' I remembered those words. I knew they were true, all of them. True about me, and true about Charles. I brought them out, every now and then, as I kept working -- on both the manuscript and myself. And, perhaps on my definition of my marriage. No, my prayer for my marriage; a marriage of two equals. With separate -- but equally valid -- views of the world; shared goggles no more, but looking at the same scenery, at the same time.” 11 likes
“Marriage breeds its own special brand of loneliness, and it’s far more cruel. You miss more, because you’ve known more.” 7 likes
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