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The Aviator's Wife

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  25,409 ratings  ·  3,865 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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Amanda S At first I felt it hard to connect with the voice of the novel, but as it went along, it really grabbed me. Once she married him, it became clearer. I…moreAt first I felt it hard to connect with the voice of the novel, but as it went along, it really grabbed me. Once she married him, it became clearer. I don't think that was a technique or a reflection of Anne's youth though. (less)
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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
...more
Stuart Smith
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
Ryan
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
Patty
The Aviator's Wife
by
Melanie Benjamin

My " in a nutshell" summary...

This is a novel about Anne Morrow...how 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...more
Angela
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...more
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...more
Misfit
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...more
Almeta
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.

Severa...more
Beccie
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
Jean
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...more
Cher
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...more
Erin
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...more
Susan Johnson
READ THIS BOOK
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...more
Jamise
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
Barb
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...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...more
Megan Mccann
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
JoAnne Pulcino
THE AVIATOR’S WIFE

By Melanie Benjamin

Although I had heard all about Charles Lindbergh’s involvement with Fascism, the horrific kidnapping of his child, and his secret family, I was still not prepared to meet the man behind the stories. The debate that rages in me is, were we better off when we had heroes to look up to or is it better to find that a lot of our so called heroes have feet of clay. The media has changed our world so drastically that we now know every kink, fetish, and transgression...more
Bobbi
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
Nancy
Nov 08, 2013 Nancy rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Dawn
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...more
Clif Hostetler
This is the story of a marriage that just happens to also include the American hero of the 1927 to 1930s era. The book is written in the first person voice of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Charles Lindbergh's wife. Thus it reads as a memoir if one forgets that it's a novel. The author did a credible job of capturing the emotion of how their relationship must have been in real life.

Their marriage was perceived by the public as a storybook romance, and in many ways it was. But the private life of Charle...more
Jackie
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
Amy
Almost every reader will know the names of the principle players in Melanie Benjamin’s latest novel, The Aviator’s Wife. Melanie Benjamin is known for her ability to explore an individual through her remarkable works of historical fiction, and she does not disappoint her many fans her latest endeavor. Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her husband Charles are known for many things; his exploration and cultivation of aviation, the devastating kidnapping of their first child, her writing career. They are a...more
Orsolya
Admittedly, my knowledge of the Lindberghs is limited to that of Charles and of the kidnapping of his first-born child versus that of his wife, Anne Morrow. As a fan of Melanie Benjamin, I turned to “The Aviator’s Wife” to learn more about this interesting, yet sidelined, female.

Sadly, I noticed a lack of the usual instantaneous spark familiar to the first few pages of each Benjamin novel. Something about “The Aviator’s Wife” felt dull and lifeless while the character of Anne failed to grab att...more
Les
Aug 03, 2013 Les rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio
Actual Rating: 4.75/5

I believe I may have been a fighter pilot in another life. I’ve always been fascinated with jets and especially marveled at their amazing speed when I lived in Southern California. We were often treated to flybys when we lived in Tierrasanta, which is southeast of Miramar Air Station (formerly known as “Fightertown USA”). While most of my girlfriends were drooling over Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in the infamous volleyball scene in Top Gun, I was getting my thrills watching th...more
Erika Robuck
Benjamin’s novel is the epic story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh, and the joys and tragedies of their long marriage, including the kidnapping of their son. Like many women of her time, Anne’s role is considered in tandem to the men in her life. She is the ambassador’s daughter until she becomes the aviator’s wife, and then the mother of the aviator’s children. It isn’t until she survives some of her own remarkable achievements...more
Jenny
This historical novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, is an excellent read. Author Melanie Benjamin did a wonderful job at capturing and presenting the roller coaster of emotions that Lindbergh no doubt experienced during her long and complicated marriage to the famous aviator.

I found that I couldn't put the book down! I was at times shocked and angered at the way Charles treated Anne, at other times glad for sweet moments in their shared life together....more
Red Ferry
I've read all of Melanie Benjamin's novels and enjoyed them very much, this one (due to be published in February next year) is by far her best. It portrays the fascinating life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles and first woman to pilot a glider. It's a portrait of a marriage faced with hounding by the press (especially after their baby was kidnapped) and her relationship with a difficult man who also happened to be the most famous man in the world at the time. She struggles to know herse...more
Catherine McKenzie
A great book - recommend.
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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. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons. She's currently at work on her next historical novel.
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.” 6 likes
“I still can't stop marveling that this same boy chose me; and I'm glad that I can't, for we should rejoice in being seen, needed. Loved.” 4 likes
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