I really enjoy reading historical fiction. I love when an author takes me back to a time or place and gives me a sense of what it must have been like to live as the characters. Most good writers of historical fiction go through months of research before even beginning the task of writing and if they do it right…they come up with a brilliant book. That is exactly what you will find when reading The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. A brilliant book!
Melanie Benjamin took historical characters, Anne and Charles Lindbergh, and made me feel for them. Like most of us, I knew the basics about these people…he flew across the Atlantic becoming America’s hero and their first born son was kidnapped and killed. That was about it and that came from history class. I didn’t know that Anne Morrow Lindbergh was this amazing woman of great character and major flaws. A woman that tolerated a man that was not as wonderful as the world viewed him. She soon lost herself in her husband, children, family and the press and yet somehow managed to find herself again.
Benjamin’s writing pulls you into this fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and makes you want to know more about this woman. By the way, I already have a copy of Gift from the Sea, written by Anne herself, on hold at my local library. I am so interested in this woman!!
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was so easy to connect to. As all woman age we begin to lose ourselves. We get married, have children, careers, and as time passes we lose the essence of what it means to be us. I know I have. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but it just happens. We forget the young free-spirit with no worries living for adventure and instead become responsible adults. It happens! This is why I think I related to this character so strongly. I could see small traces of myself in Anne. While she loves her husband, she starts to see that he doesn’t love her in the same way. She is “needed” to raise his children and to be a safe place for him to land when he chooses to come home. There is a wonderful part in the book where Anne’s daughter Ansy comes across Anne’s pilots license. Ansy is amazed that her mother could ever do such a thing. Her words have a huge impact on Anne to the point of Anne realizing she was not what she once was.
“To my children, I was just Mom. That was all. And before that, I had been Charles’s wife, the bereaved mother of the slain child. That was all. But before that I had been a pilot. An adventurer. I had broken records-but I had forgotten about them.”
-pg 339, The Aviator’s Wife
This self discovery continues for Anne and I LOVED it! Now, I have never flown a plane, but I had my own adventures…many of which I have forgotten. I don’t know about you, but I want to find them again! 🙂
I could go on and on about my thoughts on this book, but I’ll stop right here. I think I have said enough and I think you can see that I truly love this book. It may not be for everyone, but if you want a story to make you feel or one that you can connect to…READ The Aviator’s Wife!Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!