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Readers' Comments for The Aviator's Wife

In January, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight contests won copies of THE AVIATOR’S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin. In it, Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Drawing on the rich history of the 20th century and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE reveals both the dizzying highs and devastating lows of Morrow and Lindbergh’s relationship. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage.

I am so pleased to have received THE AVIATOR’S WIFE. It was a wonderful read for the heart and the mind. I am especially fond of historical fiction and love books that present new insights into known figures or introduce new figures into familiar events. Melanie Benjamin has done both with this book. Told in a delightful conversational tone, Benjamin gives us two incredible people who matured in a Twitter-less society during a period of national depression.

Everyone knows about Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic to Paris. Everyone has heard the harrowing tale of the Lindbergh baby. But who knows the story of the amazing Anne Morrow? What about the life of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow together? This book tells us of mothers and daughters, of husbands and wives, of partners in flying above life and of a woman who grew and flourished through five decades of challenge.

This book sent me to Google...checking on whether Calvin Coolidge and Anne Morrow's father were in Amherst together. I tried verifying Anne's accomplishments in flying around the globe, read multiple obituaries on Charles and looked up surviving grandchildren. This book tells a story you want to rush to embrace and yet take the time to enjoy.

Charles and Anne were two elements caught in a perfect storm. Over time, he crystallized, while she evolved. Benjamin best captures it when she has Anne remark, "Charles was the wind that blew me hither and yon, that lifted me off this earth, kept me aloft, pulled me along like a helpless kite, but also gave me wings with which I could touch the sun." I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the true story of a genuine American girl who pioneered living in the clouds of life.

Great book! It’s amazing how the media acted with this couple way back then. Fame can have its downside. I enjoyed getting to know Anne Lindbergh. She was a hero just in having to live with Charles. As I read the book, I kept googling information about the Lindbergh family. Very interesting. I am passing the book on to my friends.

THE AVIATOR’S WIFE is a marvelous historical novel that is very well researched, but is also written as a novel to introduce the reader to Anne Morrow Lindbergh as a person. Benjamin carefully builds a picture of a young woman who was raised in the early 1900s in a very controlled environment. Her parents are well known: her mother was a suffragette and her father was an ambassador to Mexico and subsequently a senator. Anne is clever and does well at school. She attends Smith College because her mother and sister had both preceded her there rather than Vassar, where she had wished to attend. In her early 20s, she meets Charles Lindbergh, just shortly after he has made his solo flight across the Atlantic to Paris. Once Anne has been taken for a flight, she becomes interested in flying, which is something Charles Lindbergh quickly sees and takes advantage of. In her life as Lindbergh's wife, Anne becomes an aviatrix, navigator and representative of Lindbergh, as well as mother to his children. Anne's gift as an author is introduced almost as an afterthought. While we hear the story from Anne's perspective, it shows the growth in her as a person --- from one who was raised with servants to becoming, in effect, Charles's servant. I must confess, I was at times impatient with Anne waiting for her to find her own voice! I do think this is an accurate reflection of a female, wife and mother of the time. Benjamin's technique of interspersing the past and present in the book is very successful. There is often just a hint of foreshadowing of things we will discover. The novel is very well written, and I found myself being pulled along despite my impatience. I have already recommended this book to several of my friends and associates, and would think this would make an excellent choice for a book club read.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I honestly did not think I would. Oftentimes, biography type books are slow reading, but this was just the opposite. I knew about the basics of Lindberg's "heroic" life, but knew absolutely nothing about his wife. The author brought her to life. It was an intriguing fast-paced story that really fascinated me. I am definitely going to choose this as a book for my book club.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. We have all heard so much about Charles Lindbergh, but did we know anything about his wife, or his marriage? This story takes you through Anne's life and her trials. It was really a page-turner for me once I started.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE AVIATOR’S WIFE because of all the family interaction and the different personalities. The only thing I knew about Charles Lindbergh was his solo flight, so it was very interesting to read about a more personal side of him. To me, Anne was a strong and smart woman, who is due a lot of respect.

I give this a five out of five star rating. To summarize as if I was telling my friend I would say this book is about a powerful woman, who is strong, has courage to face tragedy and was brought up as an ambassador's daughter.

Lindbergh’s wife, Anne, often stood behind him and never in the forefront, until she wrote her own book, GIFTS OF THE SEA, which made her get out from behind him. It's got romance, travel and I learned new things --- the top three things I like to find in any book I read.

The cover attracted me, and then I got intrigued by the words, as I love to learn about others' careers. There are many narratives and discussions among the characters about planes --- the early days. Book chapters alternate from the 1920 to the 1970s. The best scene is when Anne is taken up in the plane for the very first time, sun just rising and just the feeling she gets. I get something similar when the plane leaves the ground that causes my eyes to water --- the pressure of everything has been lifted and there are no worries to concern you, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. Loved learning about her upbringing --- that her father was a US ambassador and what was expected of her as part of the family. I feel the standards were set very high for her, and I loved her dream of being able to put into words something she experiences. Sad to learn that the press followed them around as the paparazzi does still today. After they married, Lindbergh taught her everything he knew about flying so she could do what he was doing. Such an accomplished and strong woman to have endured what she did and follow her dream and live her life.

Melanie Benjamin sets the readers up for a story of adventure and romance right at the beginning. Anne Morrow met the very famous and handsome Charles Lindbergh as she was ready to graduate from the traditional eastern college that was favored by her family.

Anne was unprepared for marriage, but she shared her husband’s love of flying and adventure. This story gives a lively account of the social and political atmosphere in the 1930s and 1940s. History buffs will enjoy this. I would also recommend this book to women friends who enjoy a good romance, because it certainly is that, too.

On a more personal note, the marriage that Anne had visualized with her hero became more painful for her as time went by. She takes her pain to a seaside retreat where she writes her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, GIFTS FROM THE SEA.

THE AVIATOR’S WIFE also introduces us to many wartime situations and tense situations in the Lindbergh home. In the marriage, I was left to ponder what standards were upheld and which were broken. What betrayals occurred? A good read!