The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin is very similar to The Paris Wife by Paula McClain and Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. Also, although I’ve never read it, I’ve heard it is also very similar to Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. All of these are about the famous man, the forgotten woman and the family burden left to her alone. Of course these men being who they were, their family and wife were never enough to entertain the ego of these men.
The Aviator’s Wife is about Charles Lindbergh’s wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Benjamin included great details about the Lindbergh’s life including a heart breaking section devoted to the Lindbergh kidnapping. There were great stories about how Anne flew with her husband, not just as a passenger, but as an active navigator, radio operator, and fellow explorer flying around the world creating new flight routes which would help develop the burgeoning world of commercial aircraft. There were stories about being trapped by paparazzi before there was even a term to describe the reporters stalking the couple and their family. I learned more about Charles Lindbergh’s association with Hitler and the Nazis and how it almost brought down the great legend than I’d ever heard before.
Even with all this, this story felt like it had already been told. A book club friend speculated that after the popularity of all the other ‘wife’ books someone rushed to research the wife of the famous aviator. Anne Lindbergh’s life sounded interesting but the writing and story telling techniques felt tired and it wasn’t enough to hold my interest very well. Perhaps if I had read this book first, I would have felt different. But I didn’t.
Interesting facts and an ok read.
Read June 2014.