Title: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
Written by Maria Burnham, Media Specialist at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School
I’m going to start this review by admitting that I am from Little Falls, MN, the hometown of Charles Lindbergh, so reading this historical fiction about Charles’ personal life was particularly fascinating for me. I was raised a Little Falls “Flyer”, attended Charles Lindbergh Elementary School and have visited the boyhood home of the American hero.
Much like the novels The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, The Aviator’s Wife is the fictional account of a marriage between a woman and her famous partner, in this case, Charles Lindbergh. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s voice in this novel is personal, compelling, and unforgettable. And I just love that the book is told from her perspective, mostly because Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a famous author and poet in real life. Swept up in the grandeur of this American hero, Anne falls in love with the pilot, but as with most marriages, over time learns that her husband isn’t always a hero. Gone for long periods of time leaving her to raise their children alone, cold and cruel with his children when he was at home, and expecting Anne to be a co-pilot over motherhood, Anne struggles to find herself and balance within the marriage. Eventually, she learns of Charles’ extra-marital affairs while he is on his death bed, and Anne works to make peace with her husband about it. Told from varying decades, this story is gripping and emotionally heart-wrenching.
I gave the book 4/5 stars because I wanted more from the part of the book dealing with Charles’ infidelity, but it’s certainly a book I would recommend to any history buff or someone who enjoys historical fiction!
Image credit: Random House LLC