The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
Random House • $26 • ISBN 9780345528674
Published January 15, 2013
Melanie Benjamin has a knack for reinventing historical characters—see her previous novels Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb—and her latest book is no exception. In The Aviator’s Wife, Benjamin offers a glimpse into the character of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of the great pilot Charles Lindbergh, showing that in the life of one of America’s most famous couples, not everything was as it seemed.
Anne, a shy woman with aspirations of her own, must stand in the shadow from her husband’s spotlight as she discovers that her marriage to Charles will define her life in ways that she could have never anticipated.
This excerpt from early on in the book, after Charles proposes to Anne, illustrates her fascination with Charles, which continues throughout the novel:
But nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Nothing could have prepared me for marriage to a man like Charles Lindbergh; a man so unlike any other man I had ever known, those bankers, lawyers, academics. Here was a man who was good, brave, driven; these were the qualities I knew about him. That there were many more qualities, as yet hidden, occurred to me as well. But they could not be as important as what I did know.
That he was a quiet man, a disciplined man. A man who did not take responsibility lightly. A man who needed a partner, so that he would never have to fly solo across an ocean again.
The most famous man in the world, who saw me standing in the shadows and somehow knew that I was braver than I supposed. Already, I had flown an airplane because he believed that I could. What else might I do?
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