I will be the first person to admit that I really like historical fiction of all types. I love learning while reading something fun, and this genre can fit both bills. Really great historical fiction piques the reader’s interest in learning more about a that subject.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a novel based on the life of Anne Murrow Lindbergh, wife of the famous Charles Lindbergh. In many respects it was fascinating reading. I learned a lot about Anne Lindbergh that I never dreamed that was true. She’s always been the wife of Charles Lindbergh to me, never really her own person. This book changes that perspective quite decisively.
The story is told from Anne’s perspective and was based on her diaries and books. (Did you know she wrote several books? I didn’t.) It really is a story of a woman who defines herself by her relationships. It details her struggles to become her own woman and how she eventually defines herself. From marrying the most famous man in the world, to losing her first child, to practically being a single mother, The Aviator’s Wife is full of information and rich detail.
How much of the information is truth? Ms. Benjamin writes, “It’s the emotional truths that I imagine; the relationships, the reasons these historical figures do the things they do.” So while a lot of the information is true, the feelings may or may not be true to life. Honestly, that is a little bit of a relief to me. Quite frequently Ms. Benjamin’s heroines are so full of turmoil and conflict that her books leave me with a slightly depressed feeling.
I do not really remember there being much strong language in this book. There was one bedroom scene, but it wasn’t explicit. There are a few instances where Anne has desires and the author went a bit more in-depth than I needed … too much information when a simple statement of longing was enough to convey the message.
The book was interesting. I learned quite a bit about the Lindberghs. It really has piqued my interest in learning more about both Anne and Charles Lindbergh. However, it is not really a feel-good book. Like I stated before, Melanie Benjamin’s books have a lingering taste of depression to them. Be prepared with a light frothy book to clean your reading palate when you put this one down.
- Tea Time: The Aviator’s Wife (browsingbookshelves.com)