Synopses & Reviews
Why, as an eager and talented writer, has Anne Morrow Lindbergh published so relatively little in forty years of marriage?” asked reviewer John Barkham in 1970. “After a promising start with those first books on flying, she tapered off into long silences broken by an infrequent volume of verse or prose.” Many years later, Lindbergh replied with a quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe, who claimed that writing, for a wife and mother, is “rowing against wind and tide.”
In this sixth and final collection of Lindbergh’s diaries and letters, taking us from 1947 to 1986, we mark her progress as she navigated a remarkable life and a remarkable century with enthusiasm and delight, humor and wit, sorrow and bewilderment, but above all devoted to finding the essential truth in life’s experiences through a hard-won spirituality and a passion for literature.
Between the inevitable squalls of life with her beloved but elusive husband, the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, she shepherded their five children through whooping cough, horned toads, fiancés, the Vietnam War, and their own personal tragedies. She researched and wrote many books and articles on issues ranging from the condition of Europe after World War II to the meaning of marriage to the launch of Apollo 8. She published one of the most beloved books of inspiration of all time, Gift from the Sea. She left penetrating accounts of meetings with such luminaries as John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Thornton Wilder, Enrico Fermi, Leland and Slim Hayward, and the Frank Lloyd Wrights. And she found time to compose extraordinarily insightful and moving letters of consolation to friends and to others whose losses touched her deeply.
More than any previous books by or about Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Against Wind and Tide makes us privy to the demons that plagued this fairy-tale bride, and introduces us to some of the people—men as well as women—who provided solace as she braved the tides of time and aging, war and politics, birth and death. Here is an eloquent and often startling collection of writings from one of the most admired women of our time.
"These previously unpublished diaries and letters are by (1906 2001) the wife of Charles Lindbergh, herself an aviator and bestselling author of Gift from the Sea, which rehabilitated an image tarnished by her and her husband Charles's support of fascism.) Written between Lindbergh's 40s and her 80th birthdays, the book begins with her anguish contemplating an abortion when pregnant for a seventh time and ends with a letter to Reeve, her youngest daughter, a year after the death of Reeve's infant son. In between, Lindbergh frets over German suffering in the wake of WWII; discusses her working life as a writer and her psychoanalysis for her depression; and reels with the shock of JFK's assassination. There is much about her ambivalence toward her husband: she doesn't expect marriage to fill her essential loneliness or that she will be Charles's only nourishment. (In fact, after Anne's death, Charles's extramarital liaisons and illegitimate children became public.) She feels abandoned by his frequent absences while she also sees how the artist in her benefits from solitude; she's ashamed of her jealousy and bitter over his success as a writer; but after Charles's death in 1974 she expresses acute grief, numbness and disorientation, and how she hates time rushing him away. A perceptive, intimate, and spirited journey of a woman as artist, wife, and mother. Agent: Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary Agency. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The sixth and concluding volume of selected letters and diary entries of the beloved author of Gift from the Sea.
Although Anne Morrow Lindbergh published five volumes of letters and diary excerpts in her lifetime, when she died in 2001 there was a treasure trove of material left unpublished. This new volume begins in 1947, as Mrs. Lindbergh is agonizing over whether or not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy (which will eventually end in a miscarriage). We observe the genesis of the idea for the book that became Gift from the Sea, and we follow its hugely successful publication. We are privy to her complicated and sometimes difficult relationship with her beloved but largely absent husband, the aviator Charles Lindbergh, who we now know was spending time with secret common-law families in Europe. We watch as she struggles to balance caring for her children and her writing career, and we listen in as she comments on events of the day. She is devastated by the Kennedy assassination (she and her husband spent an evening with the Kennedys at the White House), impressed by the Johnsons when she meets them, and distraught over the Vietnam War and its impact on the life of one of her sons. She writes approvingly about the dramatic changes in women's roles in the 1960s. And she writes about coping with solitude when her children marry and move away, and about the glories of grandchildren. She comes to terms with her love for her husband despite the pain he has caused her, and she alludes to relationships that provided solace outside of her marriage. And after Charles Lindbergh's death in 1974, she establishes a fulfilling and independent life of her own and contemplates the end of life's journey with grace and dignity.
About the Author
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was born in 1906. She married Charles Lindbergh in 1929 and became a noted aviator in her own right, eventually publishing several books on the subject and receiving several aviation awards. Gift from the Sea, published in 1955, earned her international acclaim. She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. War Within and Without, the penultimate installment of her published diaries, received the Christopher Award in 1980. Mrs. Lindbergh died in 2001 at the age of ninety-four.