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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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  •  
    Dawn O. Foster Fairfax, VA USA 03-17-13
    Dawn O. Foster Fairfax, VA USA 03-17-13 Member Since 2012

    pet groomer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Got better toward the end"
    What made the experience of listening to The Aviator's Wife the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the story for the most part. I think the narrator was what turned me off the most. I just didn't care for her voice. I had to finish it because it's a selection for my book club so I decided to just listen to the story and not the person reading. I enjoyed it much more that way but I am saddened because I really generally love a book when I love the narrator. I am glad Anne became her own person and did what she wanted to do with her life towards the end. I didn't know much about Lindbergh except his famous flight and that their child was kidnapped and killed. I didn't know Anne was an author and have never read any of her books. I may read the Gift of the Sea but not that anxious to continue on with her life history right now.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I was most interested in the story of the kidnapping and murder of their first child. I didn't really know the entire story. Such a sad sad story.


    What three words best describe Lorna Raver’s voice?

    I'm sorry I didn't like Lorna's voice. :{


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

    No I was glad to have breaks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Jupiter, FL, United States 03-15-13
    Barbara Jupiter, FL, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2010
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    "What a woman!"

    The only things I knew about Ann Morrow Lindberg were that she was the wife of the guy who first flew across the Atlantic Ocean and that their first baby was kidnapped and murdered. Even without those two events, Ann Morrow Lindberg would have been worth a book. Her story, and her observations about her own life, are timeless and give encouragement and counsel to women of all ages. The narrator is wonderful. It seemed a little slow at first, but I think that is a reflection of the times. Soon the listeners feel that they are present in the 1930s and are listening to Ann tell her own story. I recommended this for our book club, along with Ann's own book, A Gift From the Sea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VERONIQUE BRUSSELS, Belgium 03-10-13
    VERONIQUE BRUSSELS, Belgium 03-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Really passion from star till end."
    Where does The Aviator's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best of all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Aviator's Wife?

    The moment she has taken her own appartment.


    What does Lorna Raver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Warmth of voice


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

    The aviators wife


    Any additional comments?

    It was like of she was having à conversation with me. All feelings were so truely expressed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carole ORLAND PARK, IL, United States 03-09-13
    carole ORLAND PARK, IL, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A real winner!"
    Where does The Aviator's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks right up there at the top, one of my very favorites.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There was so much revealed about the Lindbergh's that I never knew so I felt like I really learned a lot about a important part of history


    What does Lorna Raver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She was wonderful narrating this story. Her voice mesmerized me and she changed her voice perfectly for the different characters. I love listening to books but all narrators are not as talented as Lorna. She is tops.


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

    No. I wanted it to last forever so listened an hour a day and am now listening to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book highly. It will not disappoint

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Weldon 03-05-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overall, an interesting novel"
    Would you listen to The Aviator's Wife again? Why?

    I would not listen to it again. I seldom listen to books twice. However, I am glad I listened to it the first time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The kidnapping of their son, Charlie, and the events that surrounded it.


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

    Anne would have to be the most memorable character. Her development into a stronger woman throughout the story made her more likable.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are on the fence about listening to this novel, go ahead and try it. I seldom give any book a 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debb waggoner 03-03-13 Member Since 2013
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    "It's on the fiction shelf for a reason"
    What would have made The Aviator's Wife better?

    As an avid amirer of Anne Morrow Lindberg, I found this book to be unrealistic of her real life. The author has taken QUITE THE LIBERTY, and I think it's a sad interpretation of Ms. Lindberg's life, omitting her true character and accomplishments in the delivery, as well as hinting at some type of bias on Ms. Benjamin's part against Lindberg himself.

    My grandmother actually traveled in their circle for over a decade, and this was a horribly inaccurate rendition of their life together. It begs the question as to why the author chose to portray them with this particular slant. It was a very tedious, slow delivery, and felt like an amateur author's boring imagination on display. Quite a disappointing read.


    Has The Aviator's Wife turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Sunland, CA, United States 03-03-13
    Mary Sunland, CA, United States 03-03-13
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    "Couldn't shut it off!"

    Really good book -- I knew very little about the Lindberghs so it was a wonderful journey to learn about Charles and Anne. Very well written -- will look for other books by this author now. My only complaint was the narrator -- she seemed just plain old tired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ayesha Pune, India 02-28-13
    ayesha Pune, India 02-28-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Superb"
    What did you love best about The Aviator's Wife?

    I loved the narration and the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well definitely the protagonist. I think her character and temperament were amazing.


    Have you listened to any of Lorna Raver’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I havent. But she was really very good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The admirable wife.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook is worth every dime. It's read beautifully and the story is great. I would definitely recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 02-25-13
    Donna 02-25-13

    Loving audible

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    "Historical Fiction at it's best."

    At the end of the book, Melanie Benjamin says that the purpose of historical fiction is to pique the reader's interest to find out more about the subject. This book did that. She referenced a biography by Susan Hertog about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I listened to that book immediately after this one, wanting to know more. Benjamin borrows heavily on the facts in Hertog's biography. Skip Hertog's book, knowing that Benjamin has the facts correct but adds the color in just the right hue and amount to accomplish her goal. I learned much about the Lindberg's and the history of the U.S. and Europe at the time but became totally immersed in the actual story. Great book. I still want to know more so Reeve Lindbergh's books about her mother, are on my reading list now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Retired Professor LONG BEACH, CA, United States 02-21-13
    Retired Professor LONG BEACH, CA, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "In Her Defense...In Her Own Words...."
    Would you listen to The Aviator's Wife again? Why?

    Remarkable story, based on truth and the lives of two people who accomplished much, lived through such awful heartache and trauma, who demonstrated how foolish and false we can be in our younger years, and yet survived to go on and raise a family and live out their lives. This book gave perspective to their lives, and established a possible rational for their behaviors...their choices made, good and bad. It did what all good books do, it made me research further those in the story...determine what became of her family, her children, and his children in Europe. It is well worth the read...or time to listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It helped me to understand these two lives, and how they survived through greatness, and loss, and trauma, and stupidity, and the simple living out of their lives. It confirmed what we already suspected, that greatness can be achieved, and yet often one is not prepared for the fall--out that follows.... That even with unbelieveable loss and horror, the human spirit strives to survive, and find love in this life we are given.


    Which character – as performed by Lorna Raver – was your favorite?

    Anne Morrow Lindbergh was well performed, yet I can not say her character was a favorite. As a senior, and a retired college professor, I understand my mother's generation and their limitations as women; but I still wanted to shake this woman until her brain engaged.... I also understand loving a man whole heartedly, but still know to be true to yourself. She was a Smith graduate, and her mother became an example to women of her time, yet she still bought into Nazi German concepts...and she tried to tell us it was her husband, even her family was shocked....
    Lorna Raver was just excellent in her performance of this book, well read.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Woman's story...Endured!


    Any additional comments?

    At times I felt this book was a defense of her behavior, yet with the tragic loss of her son who could blame her for not thinking clearly. And, at times this book made me bored with her "door mat" behavior--this from an intelligent woman, an educated woman, a well positioned woman. I have seen the Spirit of St. Louis, and it is amazing what Charles A. Lindbergh accomplished, and how it colored his life from that moment on, and her's too, was what made this a well written book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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