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The Aviator's Wife

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The Aviator's Wife Cover

ISBN13: 9780345528674
ISBN10: 0345528670
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“Delivers another stellar historical novel based on the experiences of an extraordinary woman...fictional biography at its finest.” Booklist (starred review)

Review:

“Talented historical novelist Benjamin has a knack for picking intriguing, if somewhat obscure, women in history and making them utterly unforgettable....In true Benjamin style, it’s Anne who captures us all in this exquisite fictional take on an iconic marriage.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

“What happens when you marry the greatest superstar of his time? Beneath the boyish persona of the beautiful aviator Lindbergh is a driven man, impossible not to love and yet impossible to live with. In this compelling portrait of a marriage between the naïve young Anne and her world famous husband, Anne will overcome tragedies and betrayals to evolve into a strong woman and writer; even then when she has gained so much, she cannot entirely put aside the man she loves. This soaring novel of a woman’s journey through a difficult marriage to self-discovery is sure to be a book club favorite.” Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille

Review:

“A story of both triumph and pain that will take your breath away.” Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker

Review:

“Melanie Benjamin inhabits Anne Morrow Lindbergh completely, freeing her from the shadows of her husband’s stratospheric fame.” Isabel Wolff, author of A Vintage Affair

Review:

“An unflinching exploration of the most intriguing, public, and tragic marriage of the twentieth century.” Francine Mathews, author of Jack 1939

Review:

“Offers a fascinating glimpse into the uneasy marriage of one of America’s most intriguing couples. Be prepared to question all you know about the Lindberghs.” Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls

About the Author

Melanie Benjamin is a pseudonym for Melanie Hauser, who has written two contemporary novels. She is the author of the nationally bestselling Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Suze R, May 16, 2013 (view all comments by Suze R)
I didn't know a lot about the Lindberg's story other than the kidnapping and Anne's book Gift From The Sea.I did not really have a lot to compare the story to so I have to say I enjoyed the book and found it very entertaining.I could glimpse some "nuggets" of reality,but honestly did not feel the book was trying to portray the real story.It did inspire me to find out more about the real details of their lives.I had not known that Anne was an aviator herself and quite a pioneering woman in many ways,albeit conflicted.I recommend reading this book,but leaving the true historical details behind until you finish it.
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vabruce, March 17, 2013 (view all comments by vabruce)
I have spent ten years studying Anne Morrow Lindbergh and give classes and presentations on her life and accomplishments. I would not spend 10 minutes trying to better understand and appreciate the woman depicted in “The Aviator’s Wife.”

Mrs. Lindbergh was a pioneering aviator, and was given the prestigious Hubbard Medal by National Geographic for her work with Charles in their flights charting routes for Pan Am in the 1930s. She spent nearly six months and traveled 30,000 miles in a single-engine aircraft flying in a big circle around the Atlantic; this was after their similar trip to the Orient. She wrote two best-selling books about these trips, and with her own abilities and craft became a noted author. (As of today, after more than 100 years, the Hubbard Medal has only been given out for 22 events and/or people.)

Mrs. Lindbergh published 13 books in her lifetime. Gift From the Sea, first published in 1955, is still in print. Over many years, she also wrote numerous articles for various magazines. Perhaps the most revealing book is the one that came out last spring, a book of letters and diaries spanning 1946 to 1986, Against Wind and Tide. Reeve Lindbergh and other family members spent four years going through 40 years of writing, some of it the most personal and revealing writing of Mrs. Lindbergh. It’s a treasure for all her admirers, and especially for someone who has spent years learning about her.

Ms. Benjamin treats the Lindberghs with disrespect when she writes that Charles laughed and clapped when Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping of Charles, Jr. Charles was a different duck, for sure, but even that would be out of character. Ms. Benjamin described the Lindberghs and their employees through Anne’s thoughts when they were looking throughout the house for little Charlie the night of the kidnapping. She said, “. . . I had the strangest urge to laugh, for we resembled nothing more than characters in a Marx Brothers movie.” Again, in such a frantic time for such a sensitive and thoughtful person, I don’t think Mrs. Lindbergh would be anywhere near a laugh or even a smile, let alone a thought about the Marx Brothers.

Ms. Benjamin treats some subjects in a laughable manner. She made it appear that the Lindberghs and Amelia Earhart had great disdain for each other; nothing could be further from the truth. If Ms. Benjamin had read the diaries and books of both Anne and Amelia, she would know that they admired and had great respect for each other. And why be flip and characterize it otherwise when the truth itself is so interesting. (There are literally dozens of inaccuracies in the book.)

Ms. Benjamin was likewise sketchy and flip in occasionally dropping in the names of Robert Goddard and Alexis Carrel, people who were import to Charles and his story. She also mentions that Charles became the spokesman for America First and describes it as “ . . . that ragtag group of individuals. . . .” That “ragtag” group included Potter Stewart, Sargent Shriver and Gerald Ford; they were headed by former four-star General Robert Wood, then Chairman of the Board of Sears.

But what about Rilke and Antoine de St. Exupery, people who were not only important to her but had a great influence on Anne? They were not mentioned. She loved poetry and would either memorize or read poetry for hours flying with Charles sitting in that back cockpit. This notion was not conveyed in the book either.

Mrs. Lindbergh was a woman of substance -- highly educated, incredibly literate and wonderfully expressive in her writing. In her author’s notes, Ms. Benjamin said that “the inner life can be explored only in novels, not histories -- or even diaries or letters.” Mrs. Lindbergh’s letters and diaries are all about her inner life and they are cohesive and well thought out. They are truly thoughtful in all ways about every aspect of her life. I would urge everyone to read the series of now six books of letters and diaries to even begin to understand this woman. I’d rather pursue the remarkable woman Mrs. Lindbergh was in order to learn and understand more about her compelling life than to spend even a minute with the one-dimensional aviator’s wife and the disparaged life portrayed in this book.

(Much of the research and work I’ve been doing on Mrs. Lindbergh is discussed on my website, www.moonshellspublishing.com -- and on the blog embedded it that (or found separately) -- www.teawithmrslindbergh.com. ).

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345528674
Author:
Benjamin, Melanie
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20130131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.9 x 1.4 in 1.1563 lb

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The Aviator's Wife Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Delacorte Press - English 9780345528674 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Delivers another stellar historical novel based on the experiences of an extraordinary woman...fictional biography at its finest.”
"Review" by , “Talented historical novelist Benjamin has a knack for picking intriguing, if somewhat obscure, women in history and making them utterly unforgettable....In true Benjamin style, it’s Anne who captures us all in this exquisite fictional take on an iconic marriage.”
"Review" by , “What happens when you marry the greatest superstar of his time? Beneath the boyish persona of the beautiful aviator Lindbergh is a driven man, impossible not to love and yet impossible to live with. In this compelling portrait of a marriage between the naïve young Anne and her world famous husband, Anne will overcome tragedies and betrayals to evolve into a strong woman and writer; even then when she has gained so much, she cannot entirely put aside the man she loves. This soaring novel of a woman’s journey through a difficult marriage to self-discovery is sure to be a book club favorite.”
"Review" by , “A story of both triumph and pain that will take your breath away.”
"Review" by , “Melanie Benjamin inhabits Anne Morrow Lindbergh completely, freeing her from the shadows of her husband’s stratospheric fame.”
"Review" by , “An unflinching exploration of the most intriguing, public, and tragic marriage of the twentieth century.”
"Review" by , “Offers a fascinating glimpse into the uneasy marriage of one of America’s most intriguing couples. Be prepared to question all you know about the Lindberghs.”
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