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The Aviator's Wife: A Novel | [Melanie Benjamin]

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, January 2013 - I remember hearing all about Charles Lindbergh and his famous solo transatlantic flight when I was growing up. But I never knew much about his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The Aviator’s Wife has been a compulsive read so far, and I can’t wait to hear Lorna Raver’s take on Anne’s life, from plain Jane ambassador’s daughter to paparazzied wife, copilot, and mother of six. —Diana M., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, acclaimed novelist Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.

Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements - she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States - Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

Drawing on the rich history of the twentieth century - from the late twenties to the mid-sixties - and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage - revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows. With stunning power and grace, Melanie Benjamin provides new insight into what made this remarkable relationship endure.

©2013 Melanie Benjamin (P)2013 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Julie Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-17-14
    Julie Palo Alto, CA, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hang in there - the awful narration gets better"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Aviator's Wife to be better than the print version?

    No -- the narrator's portrayal of the protagonist as a young woman is incredibly annoying, and sooooo slow. I almost quit. But the narration improves and the story is solid.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed learning more about the history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Washington, DC, United States 11-15-13
    Alison Washington, DC, United States 11-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't believe she was a feminist."
    Where does The Aviator's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Average, not stellar. The story was fine, but I think I was emotionally turned off. I headed into it without much knowledge of the Lindberghs other than that he was a pilot, she was a feminist and their baby was kidnapped. This book did a good job filling in the gaps - but I found it hard to reconcile this version of Anne Morrow Lindbergh with the feminist - she seemed to tolerate a lot of crap and dish out a lot of self-pity. I know it was fictionalized, but she wasn't a very inspiring or sympathetic character, and Charles seemed like a Grade-A douche.

    Don't get me wrong - it's a quick listen and a fun way to fill your gaps about the LIndbergh lore, but it's hard to find a single character you actually like.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me want to kick everyone... Anne needed to grow a set and Charles needed to have his set removed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Compute 05-18-13
    Compute 05-18-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting ... Good read!"

    What a read! I had such mixed emotions reading this book. Most of the time I just wanted shake Anne Lindbergh for not standing up for herself. But then I had to step back and look at the time and society and she did what every good wife did back then ... she kept persevering to make everything seem wonderful to the world in spite of what she was feeling internally. In today's world (in America), her options would be wide open. Anne Lindbergh was a smart woman who had the capacity to love beyond all things. And she did that with a passion. My heart broke with the kidnapping of her child and the fact that she had to grieve privately for her little son. This was my first time reading Melanie Benjamin and I enjoyed the way she told the story. She kept it interesting yet made the reader wonder what was coming next. I can't say I enjoyed the story, but I enjoyed the way the author revealed it and grabbed my attention. Kudos to Ms. Benjamin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora San Francisco, CA, United States 02-11-13
    Nora San Francisco, CA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fictional bio about fascinating woman"
    Would you listen to The Aviator's Wife again? Why?

    I think I would like to read the book rather than listen again. I felt that the narrator's voice was "too old" for the chapters that portrayed Ann in her younger years. It took away from the feeling of young love, infatuation, and love. I think the content of the book might "read" differently.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ann - of course. I read the excellent bio of Charles Lindbergh by Scott Berg so got the "male" perspective. She has always intrigued me.


    Did Lorna Raver do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes with the exception of the above criticism.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Listening - made me want to reread/listen to "Gift from the Sea"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Brackettville, TX, United States 01-17-13
    Linda Brackettville, TX, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Boring"

    The narrator was slow, the text gave too many insignificant details. I think this was noted in other reviews. I've made it to their second meeting. Don't know if I can take much more.

    15 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Silvia Oakland, CA, USA 03-19-15
    Silvia Oakland, CA, USA 03-19-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Flights of fact and fancy."

    Thoroughly enjoyable! I looked for opportunities to listen so I have a really clean house. Well written and performed. Hurrah!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kem 03-07-15
    Kem 03-07-15 Member Since 2015

    Blessed be, Kem

    ratings
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    Story
    "The Journey of a Lifetime"

    The writer & reader of The Aviator's Wife allowed me to leave my world and fly with the Lindbergs. They carried me with them where ever they went throughout the world. It was truly the journey of a lifetime.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabel R Fort Bragg, CA. U.S.A. 02-16-15
    Isabel R Fort Bragg, CA. U.S.A. 02-16-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delve into the life of this fascinating couple."
    Where does The Aviator's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High on my list


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ann, of course.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The whole book piqued my interest to know more about them.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Aviator's Wife and why?

    Charles is the more memorable but for all the wrong reasons....his secrecy being the main one.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Montreal, Quebec, Canada 02-05-15
    Stephanie Montreal, Quebec, Canada 02-05-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow start but it keeps getting better"

    I didn't always care for Anne's personality or her choices. I thought that it was a very slow start. The beginning seemed almost absurd... as in why am I even listening about this woman? I did not choose this book. I read it for a book club assignment. Even though this is fiction based on real life, the author stays very close to real life. It was in making notes for the book club meeting that I realized how much the book got me to thinking about love, marriage, loyalty, choosing a partner, living life fully and wanting more. I also recently visited the Smithsonian and I saw the Lindbergh exhibit there as well as Charles Lindbergh's plane. After seeing that plane it is fairly astounding that he undertook a 33 hour flight in it. Visiting the Air & Space museum when I did really reinforced the degree of courage and adventure that this husband and wife shared. Personally I was not well aware of the Lindbergh's story but I will say that I was touched by the bipolarity of the highs and lows in their lives...If you get this definitely listen to the author's discussion at the end. I think that Melanie Benjamin is a good storyteller and I would not hesitate to try another one of her books, this being my first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Coleman 01-10-15
    J. Coleman 01-10-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't give up on first few chapter"

    You're most likely not going to come away liking Charles. In the end, r's not about him anyway. Good story but it didn't grab me until chapter 4 or so

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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