The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
First line: He is flying.
Summary: When Anne Morrow travels to Mexico City to visit her family she meets the national hero, Charles Lindbergh. Just months before Charles had flown across the Atlantic, securing his place in world history. Awed by his fame and talent of flying, she is quickly drawn to him. Together they become America’s golden couple. Anne joins Charles in his flights and even becomes the first female glider pilot. But tragedy strikes after a few years when their first child is kidnapped. The crime tears brings an end to the fairy tale romance. As Anne tries to navigate the world after the loss of her son she finds that she is stronger than she ever thought possible.
My Thoughts: I feel that every person has heard the legendary name of Charles Lindbergh. Either because of his daring flight across the Atlantic or the kidnapping of his first son. I remember learning about him in history classes throughout my school years. He is portrayed as a hero. And for parts of his life it appears that he is but there were also some darker sides that Melanie Benjamin covers in this story.
As with many historical fiction novels I spend lots of time looking up the characters and events while reading. I had no idea about his links with Nazi Germany, extramarital affairs and rather controlling personality. It appears that people at the time were aware of some of these controversial aspects but it was not covered in my history classes. Another great reason to pick up historical fiction!
But I found Anne to be just as fascinating if not more. She came from a prominent family, had a good education and achieved many feats during her lifetime. Anne even lived into my lifetime, only dying in 2001 at the age of 94. She saw many changes to the world around her and even made history herself. I am glad I finally got around to reading her story. I highly recommend it to fans of women’s history.