Friday, August 1, 2014

I Wish I Had Read The Reviews First

Earlier this year, I read "The Aviator's Wife", by Melanie Benjamin.
Truth be told, the only reason I even picked this book up at the store was because the woman on the cover looked so elegant, stylish, and confident. After a quick read through of the back cover, I thought it would be interesting to read about a woman that I knew nothing of other than her first child was kidnapped and killed. 


"When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness."

I was very disappointed in this book and it was a real struggle for me to finish it. While I was putting together this post, I found this review by L. Young on that reflected my exact thoughts on the book...

"The Aviator's Wife' is the latest entry in the sub-genre of historical fiction that I call 'The Subjugated Wives of Famous Men Historical Novel'. 'Loving Frank' and 'The Paris Wife' are two other examples about Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright and Mrs Ernest Heminway. The mark of this sub-genre is the bright and educated wife who must struggle to establish her own identity while under the thumb of the famous and domineering husband. In 'The Aviator's Wife' we have the story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, shy daughter of the Morrow family. Her father was US ambassador to Mexico when she first meets aviator icon and hero Charles Lindbergh. Later her father will become the US Senator from New Jersey. Anne a Smith graduate who wins two literary prizes while there, lives in the shadow of her gorgeous older sister Elizabeth. This prepares the plainer Anne to live in the shadow of her husband Charles, whose solo flight over the Atlantic makes him the superstar of his age. Lindberg is presented as an emotionally cold and controlling golden boy who ultimately fathers half a dozen illegitimate children with three other women during his 47 year marriage to Anne.

Anne bemoans endlessly (and irritatingly) how she isn't worthy of the God-like Lindberg and spends her time subjugating her will to his, including writing a pamphlet supporting his pro-Nazi views. The novel is entertaining enough if you can bear the pedestrian writing and the endless repetition. It seems to be well researched and doesn't gloss over Lindbergh's Nazi sympathies in the years leading up to WW 2. The description of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby is heartbreaking. Finally Anne will emerge as her own person, thankfully." 

I should thank Mr./Mrs. L. Young for writing most of my blog post for today!

Have a great day.

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