Friday, May 30, 2014

A Book Recommendation

I'm going to finish this week with a book recommendation. My book club is reading Melanie Benjamin's historical fiction The Aviator's Wife. I told the friend who is hosting that I would be out of town for the meeting so I wouldn't take the book that she was handing out. She said she had enough and suggested that I read it and return it to her before I left town. I'm so glad she gave me the opportunity to read this book but also sorry that I won't be here for the discussion that my book club will have.

The book is a fictionalized account of the marriage of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh written as if Anne is telling the story. Melanie Benjamin does extensive research for a book of this type, then uses fiction technique to tell the story, aiming for as close to truth as possible. So, the reader must read knowing that it's a mixture of fact mixed with the author's thoughts as to what happened.

Older generations are familiar with the Lindbergh story--his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 giving him instant hero status and the kidnapping of their first child. Both stories captivated our nation. This book gives us those stories and more, concentrating on the marriage and relationship of these two American celebrities.

We see Anne both loving and disliking her husband. We see her strike out to become a person in her own right, not just the wife of Charles Lindbergh or the mother of a child who was kidnapped. Anne lived first as an Ambassador's daughter and then as the Aviator's wife. Dubbing her that way was partly a sign of the times--the 20's, 30's and 40's but it also showed her submissive personality in her younger years.

The Lindberghs had five more children, continued to fly toghether in the early years of the marriage, and traveled the world extensively.They were hounded by the press wherever they were. The book covers the years prior to WWII when Charles became an admirer of Adolf Hitler, causing the American people to remove the aviator from the pedestal they had placed him upon years earlier. Anne was similarly chastised by her fellow Americans, as well. They were somewhat redeemed by Charles' work for our country during WWII.but the shine was never quite the same.

When Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote her acclaimed Gift From The Sea in the mid-fifties, I was one of the avid readers. It's a small book of essays that speaks to women. I so enjoyed the book that I've read it more than once. It's still available in many libraries and at Amazon.

I found The Aviator's Wife a fascinating read, a fine study of a marriage and the differing personalities of people who are attracted to one another. I sympathized with Anne many times and wanted to shake her and tell her to stand on her own two feet and defy her controlling husband at times, too. I cheered when she finally becomes her own person.

Give this book a try to learn some history and to have a satisfying read.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to recommend this one for our book club. Sounds like a good one. Thanks!