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
While I liked the story, it was very difficult to reconcile the narrator's voice to the time when Anne Morrow was, say, younger than 80. It made Anne seem old even when she was young and stole authenticity.
One of my favorite books is Anne's Gift from the Sea. I've given it many times to friends. This historical novel really opened my eyes about the challenges of her life and her dreams and gave me quite a different context for her own novel. A must read, but if you don't know a lot about the Lindberghs, be prepared for some surprises. Love how strong this woman was, through it all.
Read this book for our book club. Took the book out of the library because the reader made it sound like a romance novel. The life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh is interesting and worth the read but the author adds a lot of her own spin on the Lindberg marriage and Anne's perspective.
This is the tale of two deeply flawed people, told from the viewpoint of one of them: Anne Morrow Lindbergh. And, it must be remembered, it is a novel, not a biography. Anne would not have felt that her own affair was in the same class as Lindbergh's -- why should it be expected that she would be objective about such a subject? I am sure Lindbergh married Anne because he needed an acolyte to make him feel more secure; repeatedly it is stressed that he only felt really comfortable tinkering with his planes and flying solo. He was uneasy with people. Anne, on the other hand, was, by her own admission, plain, gawky, and shy, and was thrilled that such a celebrity wanted her. Even on their pioneering air trips, she was his "crew", not his "co-pilot". He bolstered his own self-confidence by constantly "teaching" her, attempting to control all aspects of her life, and making sure she was grateful to him for it all. It took her a while, but she does describe him, after years, as a bully -- and bullies are always afraid of their own inadequacies.
Neither was prepared for the celebrity, which was less common back then [I find myself reminded of Prince Charles and Diana, although the Prince was raised to be a celebrity], with its concomittant complete loss of privacy [although, during the time they lived out of the limelight in Germany, they actually found the cessation of publicity also difficult to live with], and for parenthood -- or for the tragedy they suffered. When you think of it, it was quite remarkable that Anne managed to surmount the pressures on her to the extent she did.
Lindbergh's social attitudes, it has to be remembered, were not extreme for his time. There was a general assumption that the "white races" represented the best in civilization, and there was a pervasive attitude that Jews were "different". [Just look at an author like Dorothy L. Sayers for her "genteel" anti-semitism, btw]. Politically, he was by no means the only naif of the period, but his pronouncements carried weight because he was in the public eye. It is hard for us now to remember just how much has changed in the past 60+ years.
A number of reviewers did not like Ms. Raver's narration. I found it very good, precisely because her voice is that of a mature woman, and because she is capable of emotion. Neither did I find the book overwritten. The sense of time and place is well-created; the personalities of both Lindberghs are well-delineated, with all their warts. It is difficult to make dysfunctional people [and relationships] believeable but Ms. Benjamin does so. In my opinion, this is one of the best books I have listened to recently.
A different narrator
Didn't get to the End - the narrator's voice was too annoying.
Disappointment - I want to hear the story but the narrator sounded like an old lady, with out inflections in her voice for the various characters. Her voice was so unappealing I had to stop listening to the book. If we could return these - this is one to return.
This may be a book better off read.
I enjoy historical fiction, humor, and biographies. I listen to my Audible books as I drive in my car or on my IPhone.
I totally enjoyed the narration of this story. Very enjoyable.
Enjoyed the part of Mrs. Lindbergh's first flight. The author made it very entertaining and one could only imagine what it must have felt like in a time when aviation was being introduced to the world!
Mrs. Raver brought a lot of emotion to this book. I would love to read other novels she has narrated.
Yes, I wanted to cry when I reached the end of this book. It gave me an utmost respect for Mrs. Lindbergh.
This is an amazing story! The author did an incredible job at keeping me hooked and interested. She made me go to all the places the main character went. I was happy with her, I grieved with her and when it was over I wanted more, great listen!
Definitely NOT by the narrator, Lorna Raver. Hatred her grouchy, old lady voice so much so that I couldn't listen any longer.
History proves this could be a good historical fiction novel but I really hated the readers whinny voice.
No, I would not try another book by the author or the actor. The actor's voice was a bit abrasive and she seemed to pause and draw out each and every phrase. While she was very expressive and conveyed an older Anne, who may have been looking back, the overall pace was much to slow for me.
Couple the slow pace with the writer's detailed, redundant style, and the book seemed endless. While the story had some intrigue, it seemed to go on and on restating the same thought or image three or four times before moving on. Perhaps better editing would have helped. It seemed that the book could have been reduced by 30% at least.
I enjoyed hearing more about the historical elements. I found the characters very unappealing. I tried to put Anne's passive and compliant approach in context of the times, but it was hard for me to like Ann or Charles. They just weren't very sympathetic people. I tend to prefer characters that I can enjoy and connect with - even if they are flawed.
Voice quality and too much pausing.
It was interesting to learn more about the times and the history.
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