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The Aviator's Wife Audiobook

The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

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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

4.1 (1084 )
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Performance
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  •  
    carolyn marietta, ga, United States 06-24-13
    carolyn marietta, ga, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Can't Stand Readers Voice!"
    Would you try another book from Melanie Benjamin and/or Lorna Raver?

    Definitely NOT by the narrator, Lorna Raver. Hatred her grouchy, old lady voice so much so that I couldn't listen any longer.


    Any additional comments?

    History proves this could be a good historical fiction novel but I really hated the readers whinny voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    where2gonexttime 06-12-13

    m's mom

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    "I got through it."
    Would you try another book from Melanie Benjamin and/or Lorna Raver?

    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.


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

    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.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Voice quality and too much pausing.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was interesting to learn more about the times and the history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan B Gross 06-03-13
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    "Good Book Bad Reader"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book was fascinating, but the reader was atrocious


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the character of Anne's mother, wise, and unflappable.


    What didn’t you like about Lorna Raver’s performance?

    Her voice was just gravely and not right.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Carson Connecticut 05-14-13
    P. Carson Connecticut 05-14-13 Member Since 2015

    Audiobook Raven

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    "Who knew Anne Lindberg?"

    I was marginally familiar with Anne Morrow Lindberg, the subject of The Aviator's Wife, and more familiar with Melanie Benjamin, the author of the novel -- from reading Alice I Have Been, the story of Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the title character in Alice in Wonderland. I also know as much as any schoolboy of the 1940's and 1950's about Anne Morrow's famous husband, Charles Lindberg. Since this new novel, has been well received, I thought it worth the cost of admission to buy a copy from Audible for my enjoyment.

    I did find the book a little slow-paced, in the beginning, even through the pre-war years, when Charles Lindberg put himself on the pacifist side of the debate raging in America -- in the end, being denounced as a Nazi sympathizer and being denied the reinstatement of his officer's commission. That Charles Lindberg reestablished his place in America's pantheon of heroes was unknown to me. I was quite impressed with his wartime work, in a civilian capacity, with Ford Motors and with the U.S. Army Air Force.

    This book is not so much about Charles Lindberg the hero, however, as it is about Anne Morrow Lindberg and her quiet support and love for her husband in spite of his austere, cold personality. The death of the Lindberg's first child, Charles Jr. did much to destroy Charles Lindberg's personal life. His failure to save his child from the kidnappers was a personal defeat and humiliation that he never forgot, although he never discussed it, even with Anne. After fathering five more children with Anne, he virtually abandoned her when she was unable to bear more children, visiting their home in Connecticut only a few times per year and being away for months at a time. Instead, the novel reveals the fact that Charles fathered seven other children, with three other women, in Germany, between the 1950's and his death in 1974.

    The Aviator's Wife may appeal more to women readers than to male readers. I did find the tone of the novel (which I listened to in audio format) fairly brittle. But I do recognize the growth of Anne Morrow's character during the book and her strength in Charles' declining years and his final illness. Her behavior at Charles' deathbed in 1974 is emotional dynamite. The book is very well organized around that deathbed scene, moving back and forth between 1974 and various significant times in the past -- the real aviation partnership between Anne and Charles during the 1920's, the kidnapping of Charles Jr. in 1932, the pre-war visits to Germany and Charles' link with Nazi Germany, the war years Anne and the family spent in Detroit while Charles joined the American air forces in the Pacific, and Charles' more and more rare visits home to his wife and children. The organization of the segments makes Anne's analysis of her marriage to Charles very believable and well worth reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felicia 05-07-13
    Felicia 05-07-13
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    "Good read, poor reader."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, I would recommend this book just not as an audible.


    If you’ve listened to books by Melanie Benjamin before, how does this one compare?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Lorna Raver’s performance?

    It was painful to listen to this reader.


    Did The Aviator's Wife inspire you to do anything?

    Look up on the internet articles related to the Lindbergs.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to stop listening to this book many times due to the reader but, wanted to finish the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer milwaukee, WI, United States 05-05-13
    Amazon Customer milwaukee, WI, United States 05-05-13 Member Since 2014
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    "How could you do this to wonderful woman?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think someone who truly dislikes Anne Morrow would love this book. For all the strength and courage she displayed during all the trials she faced in life, this book leaves you with the impression that she was a whining, insipid housewife. She was so much more than this book emphasizes.


    What was most disappointing about Melanie Benjamin’s story?

    Everything. From the casual manner in which she acknowledges and almost condones Morrow's affair with the family physician to the hypocritical manner in which Lindberg is raked over the coals for his affairs. This was a marriage that was subject to enormous strain and it broke. They both failed in the vows, not he more than her.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Lorna Raver’s performances?

    No, could not stand her voice.


    What character would you cut from The Aviator's Wife?

    Not really an option for this story.


    Any additional comments?

    It is unfortunate that the truly rich legacy of this woman was rendered so cheaply.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth MISSOULA, MT, United States 05-01-13
    Ruth MISSOULA, MT, United States 05-01-13

    Urth81

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    "I want to know more!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Although the book is fiction, the author does a great job of tying truth and story together. I found myself utterly thrilled at times and utterly frustrated at others. The narrator also did a great job, her performance allowed each character to shine.


    If you could take any character from The Aviator's Wife out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Anne of course!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammi 04-27-13
    Tammi 04-27-13
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    "Great Book - Keeps your attention"
    Where does The Aviator's Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was very entertaining. Lorna acts out the different characters very well. I never had a doubt who she was acting.


    What other book might you compare The Aviator's Wife to and why?

    Similar to Paradise Lost - Story of Flagar building a railroad that started at the panhandle and went down to the Florida Keys. Both are historical novels.


    If you could take any character from The Aviator's Wife out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Only because I don't want to choose any of the 2 obvious characters, I choose Elizabeth. Her life sounds equally exciting & I'd like to know her view of "the events of 1932".


    Any additional comments?

    At the end of the audible book, the author explains how she wrote the book & what was historically accurate. I think she did a good job creating semi-factual stories and historically accurate ones. She really made Ann the main character and successfully put Charles in the background.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antoinette Rochester, MN, United States 04-08-13
    Antoinette Rochester, MN, United States 04-08-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Emotional Depth"

    Yes, it is too wordy for the number of events covered in the life of Anne Morrow Lindberg depicted here but, as was said in the author's notes about her intent, Benjamin's main goal was to shed light on what the emotions of Anne may have been as she reacted to a remarkable life married to a hero. Some themes are repeated over and over (with different, well written words to be sure).
    As one who grew up during the early hero worship phase of their lives, I was familiar with the outlines of their story. However, I did not fully appreciate what their lives must have been really like. What Benjamin does is to pull off a masterful job of providing the reader/listener a thorough appreciation of what Anne must have felt felt as she went through the years as the wife of the flawed aviator-hero.
    Spoiler Alert: I heard only passing references to Lindberg's "other families" now and then. They only are touched upon slightly in this book. Sequel, please. Another book would be interesting, illuminating the lives of the other families he had, with chapters about the children of Anne and Charles with their reaction to learning about their extended family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 04-07-13
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2009

    I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have 5 grown children, play ukuele exercise, and read.

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    "Amazing story!"
    Would you listen to The Aviator's Wife again? Why?

    I had very limited knowledge of Anne Lindberg. This is an excellent story. I oFten sat in my car waiting for a chapter to complete.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How it was told in past and present.


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

    She was an amazing reader. I saw one reviewer who didn't like her voice. This has caused me to be cautious about some books as the reader makes or breaks a story. The magic of this reader is to remember that the story is basically being told past tense by an old woman. Once I realized this, I loved the reader.


    If you could rename The Aviator's Wife, what would you call it?

    The rest of the story!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fantastic book. I bought 2 copies from Amazon and sent them to my mother and sister.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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