Reviews for Aviator's Wife


Booklist Reviews 2013 February #1
*Starred Review* Benjamin, author of the highly acclaimed Alice I Have Been (2010) and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb (2011), delivers another stellar historical novel based on the experiences of an extraordinary woman. In this outing, she spotlights Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of wildly famous Charles Lindbergh and pioneering aviatrix and accomplished author in her own right. Though their courtship is the stuff of every girl's romantic fantasy, time and reality combine to reveal a much different story. Plagued by tragedy and often stifled by her domineering husband, she eventually manages to carve out a quasi-independent life and career for herself. Fictional biography at its finest; serious readers may want to pair this with the recently published Against Wind and Tide, the sixth and final volume of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's copious letters and journal entries. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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BookPage Reviews 2013 December
New paperback releases for reading groups

LOOKING FOR LOVE
In A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Love Stories, best-selling author Sebastian Faulks spins five very different yet closely linked stories into a larger, moving narrative. Set in different eras, each story focuses on a lone character adrift and in need of love. During World War II, Geoffrey, a British prep-school teacher turned soldier, falls for a French woman who deceives him. Jeanne, an illiterate maid in 19th-century France, leads a work-filled life with few distractions, but she’s also on a remarkable spiritual quest. Elena, a neurobiologist whose story is set in the future, is able to recall scenes from the other stories in the book and find solace in them. Each richly developed narrative stands on its own even as it illuminates and enlarges its companion pieces. Faulks moves effortlessly between eras and locales to create a breathtaking mosaic—a narrative about our innate need for connection and the ways in which the past influences the future.

TEEN SECRETS
In her much-praised debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight builds a powerful story around a mother’s worst nightmare. Kate, a single mom, is heartsick over the apparent suicide of her 15-year-old daughter, Amelia. Staff at the private academy Amelia attended tell Kate that her daughter was depressed because she’d been caught cheating and jumped off the school roof. But when Kate receives an anonymous text that indicates otherwise, she sets out to redeem her daughter. A career-driven lawyer, Kate is persistent in her quest, and the troubling discoveries she makes about Amelia—her questionable friendships, her membership in an exclusive girls’ club at school—reveal the stresses from which her daughter suffered. This chilling novel is narrated by both Kate and Amelia, whose Facebook posts and emails flesh out the story. McCreight writes with sensitivity about ever-relevant topics like grief, the mother-daughter bond and bullying. A hypnotic mystery from a promising new writer, this is a timely book about the dangers of being a teen in today’s technology-oriented society.

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Melanie Benjamin, the best-selling author of Alice I Have Been, offers a fictional portrayal of an intriguing real-life figure in her new novel, The Aviator’s Wife. The fascinating heroine is Anne Morrow, the introverted daughter of a millionaire diplomat and the woman who captured the heart of Charles Lindbergh. The two meet in Mexico City in 1927, not long after Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic Ocean. When they marry, the union makes headlines around the world. Although she becomes the first female glider pilot to earn a license in the United States—one of her many accomplishments—Anne is always perceived as the wife of a famous adventurer, and she struggles to find an identity of her own. Benjamin brings her protagonist to vivid life, recounting the major events that marked her marriage, including the kidnapping and murder of her baby. She also convincingly probes Anne’s emotional interior, giving readers a sense of what might have made this extraordinary woman tick.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
Biographical novel of Anne Morrow and her troubled marriage to pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh. Anne, self-effacing daughter of a suffragette and an ambassador, is surprised when Charles, already a celebrity thanks to his first trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, asks her--instead of her blonde, outgoing older sister Elisabeth--to go flying with him. And it is Anne whom Charles will marry. At first, the glamorous couple's life consists of flights all over the world: Anne becomes a pilot and navigator and Charles' indispensable sidekick. However, when in 1932 the Lindberghs' first child is kidnapped from his nursery, the resulting press furor almost destroys Anne. In addition to her grief over her lost firstborn, a grief that Lindy doesn't appear to share, Anne suffers the downside of fame as public adulation turns to prurient sensationalism. The couple takes refuge abroad, where they enjoy the orderly routine and docile press of the Hitler regime, as long as Charles is willing to accept a Nazi medal and attend rallies. However, Kristallnacht proves too much even for Lindbergh's anti-Semitism, and he and Anne return to the States as war threatens. As more children arrive, Anne is beginning to bridle at Charles' domineering ways, however the aspiring author is too insecure to contradict him even as he offends her liberal friends and family by siding with right-wing groups who claim that the Jews are trying to force America into war. At Charles' behest, and against her own principles, she pens The Wave of the Future (1940), an isolationist screed which renders her anathema to the intelligentsia: Even her alma mater, Smith College, disowns her. In 1974, after 47 years of wedlock, Anne must decide whether to finally confront her husband. Although the portrayal of such a passive character could easily turn tepid, Benjamin maintains interest, even suspense, as readers wonder when Anne's healthy rebellious instincts will burst the bonds of her dutiful deference. A thoughtful examination of the forces which shaped the author of Gift from the Sea. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 December #1

Benjamin (Alice I Have Been; The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb) examines the life of a woman whose story has frequently been overshadowed by that of a more famous man. A starstruck Anne Morrow is thrilled when Charles Lindbergh proposes marriage shortly after his famous transatlantic flight. Initially overjoyed to serve as the dashing young aviator's "crew," she soon discovers a dark side to her husband's ambitions and yearns to break free of his rigid expectations for her. Benjamin's primary focus is on Anne's evolution from submissive helpmate into the author of the feminist classic Gift from the Sea. Her extremely unsympathetic portrayal of Charles may startle readers expecting more of a love story. Anne's life provides plenty of material to hold interest, including on her days as a pioneering aviatrix, her heartbreak following the kidnapping and murder of her infant son, and the controversy surrounding Charles's unpopular political views during the buildup to World War II. VERDICT Well-researched and paced, this novel will certainly spark readers' interest in learning more about this famous couple.--Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL

[Page 79]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #2

Talented historical novelist Benjamin has a knack for picking intriguing, if somewhat obscure, women in history and making them utterly unforgettable. Told from the perspective of Anne Lindbergh, wife of the famed aviator Charles, her third novel (after TK) doesn't disappoint. When Anne first meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh in 1927 he's a hero, world-famous after completing his cross-Atlantic flight; Anne is a simple college girl living in the shadow of her radiant older sister Elisabeth. To everyone's surprise, then, it's Anne who catches Charles's eye. And so begins their enthralling journey together. Intimately depicting their marriage of duty and partnership in the air, as well as the horrific kidnapping and murder of first child Charles Jr., this is less love story than voyeuristic glimpse at one of the 20th century's most captivating men through the eyes of the woman who knew him best. In true Benjamin style, it's Anne who captures us all in this exquisite fictional take on an iconic marriage. Agent: Melanie Jackson, the Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Talented historical novelist Benjamin has a knack for picking intriguing, if somewhat obscure, women in history and making them utterly unforgettable. Told from the perspective of Anne Lindbergh, wife of the famed aviator Charles, her third novel (after TK) doesn't disappoint. When Anne first meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh in 1927 he's a hero, world-famous after completing his cross-Atlantic flight; Anne is a simple college girl living in the shadow of her radiant older sister Elisabeth. To everyone's surprise, then, it's Anne who catches Charles's eye. And so begins their enthralling journey together. Intimately depicting their marriage of duty and partnership in the air, as well as the horrific kidnapping and murder of first child Charles Jr., this is less love story than voyeuristic glimpse at one of the 20th century's most captivating men through the eyes of the woman who knew him best. In true Benjamin style, it's Anne who captures us all in this exquisite fictional take on an iconic marriage. Agent: Melanie Jackson, the Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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