Book Review: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Definitely still working out the kinks with this blog, and there are many! I feel like I have to know a lot more about how websites work to really take advantage of this thing, but I still hope to be fully operational soon. I just gave up and deleted all of my blogger entries, because the span really went haywire.

Anyway, what better way to open a in which I hope to focus on my travels than by reviewing a travel book of sorts. Well its more like historical fiction, but its based on one of the most prominent figures in aviation.

Actually as the title suggests, a lot of the story is told from his wife’s perspective. And that would be the wife of Charles Lindbergh, of course.

Benjamin makes clear from the beginning that the woman she creates to have married Mr. lindbergh is fictional. I suppose this is done to give her more liberty in dramatizing the narrative. The events that unfold however make it pretty clear that the story is very much reality based.

It opens with the eventual wife kind of playing second fiddle to her sister, with the family assuming that the sister would marry him because of her good looks and charm. This was in 1927, shortly after Lindbergh completed his Atlantic crossing to Paris.

For reasons only he really knows, Lindbergh asks Anne, the wife’s name in this novel, to fly up with him not once but twice. I enjoy the flight parts most, although I get a sense that the author chooses not to dive into a deep explanation of how planes work and what was being looked at when things had to be fixed. This is ok, but it makes those parts of the book fall a little flat in my opinion.

I haven’t finished it yet, but it seems to me that Benjamin wanted to demonstrate the perils us hero worship, and that at the end of the day we’re all still human. I really like this message.

The story is told entirely from Anne’s first person perspective, with strange flash forwards to 1974, when Lindbergh is apparently dying. The first time this happened, I’d thought I had accidentally skipped ahead a bunch of pages.

I’m not as into the romantic angle, but I can recommend this because it has plenty of suspense too. At the very least, it makes a fun way to start a workday.

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