What I’m Reading Wednesday

12 Mar

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Ever since elementary school I have been fascinated by Charles Lindbergh. I even drew his Spirit of St. Louis plane for a school project in second grade, even if I only half understood the amazing feat he accomplished in his era.

Author Melanie Benjamin’s third novel, “The Aviator’s Wife,” tells the story of Lucky Lindy and his wife, told from the perspective of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It’s a work of historical fiction in which the author notes what is fact and then uses her imagination to write in the reactions and emotions. As Benjamin tells Anne’s story it is both heartbreaking and tragic as she includes the kidnapping and murder of their first son and how the Lindbergh family was more or less deserted by the great pilot.

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It’s hard to imagine life as the wife of one of the world’s most famous celebrities after his solo non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927. But Benjamin offers an imaginary glimpse into what it might have been like for Anne, who set aviation records in her own right.

In her author’s note, Benjamin shares her hope in writing historical fiction to inspire the reader to want to dig deeper and learn more. Such was definitely the case for me. As I researched the famous couple I was astonished to read Charles fathered seven children with three other women outside of his marriage. It is not known if Anne knew about this, and I will not spoil how Benjamin handled this in her story.

“The Aviator’s Wife” is a powerful and inspiring read. The Lindberghs were world famous celebrities, but their relationship had more than its share of heartache.

As a niece of an U.S. Air Force colonel, I have grown up hearing stories of my aunt’s missions and all she has accomplished in her career in aviation. I look up to my aunt in much the same way I’m sure many pilots look up to Lindbergh.

You can find “The Aviator’s Wife on amazon.com.

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