Book Review: THE AVIATOR’S WIFE

“Even now, I think of flying as a refuge; gliding with the birds on the currents, the sky a great silent cathedral surrounding you. And although I know differently–my ears sometimes ring with the memory of the roaring of those early engines–I imagine him crossing the ocean in silence, a young man, his hand on the control stick and his foot on the rudder, alone with just his thoughts; for the first and only time in his life, free from expectations. Free from the burden of living up to the legend that awaits him a mere twenty or so hours away, in a primitive airfield just outside of Paris.” Melanie Benjamin, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE

THE AVIATOR’S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin will be published tomorrow and is 396 pages. I loved Benjamin’s first historical novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, so I was eager to read her latest, and picked up an ARC at a book festival.

Benjamin’s novel is the epic story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh, and the joys and tragedies of their long marriage, including the kidnapping of their son. Like many women of her time, Anne’s role is considered in tandem to the men in her life. She is the ambassador’s daughter until she becomes the aviator’s wife, and then the mother of the aviator’s children. It isn’t until she survives some of her own remarkable achievements and true tragedy that she begins to emerge from the shadow of those around her.

From the opening chapters of the book when young Anne meets the serious and mysterious young pilot, Lindbergh, and becomes his flying crew on his many travels, I was spellbound. The period detail, the incredible tales of adventure Anne and Charles faced in their early marriage–including the relentless hounding of the paparazzi–and the devastating abduction of their eighteen-month-old son, make THE AVIATOR’S WIFE impossible to put down. Anne is a dynamic and likable protagonist who struggles to balance the need to forge her own identity while staying loyal to her husband. She makes mistakes along the way, but her self-knowledge and loyalty become the very traits that account for her literary successes and eventual claim on her life and its definition.

From plane crashes, to Nazi Germany, to the literary scene in New York, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE is a multi-generation novel that book clubs and readers of historical fiction will devour. Fans of THE PARIS WIFE and LOVING FRANK have a new story to add to their list of favorites. I give THE AVIATOR’S WIFE my highest recommendation, and because I loved it so much, I’m hosting a giveaway. Please comment below by midnight on Thursday, January 17th for a chance to win, and please spread the word. The winner will be announced on Friday, January 18th.

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24 thoughts on “Book Review: THE AVIATOR’S WIFE

  1. Farin says:

    So excited for this! I loved both of Melanie Benjamin’s previous books.

  2. Melanie Benjamin is one of my favorite authors. I have read Alice I Have Been more times than I can count!

  3. Marilyn says:

    Yay! A new Melanie Benjamin book! Love your blog also!

  4. barb ivory says:

    I can’t wait! This book sounds awesome. I loved her other two books.

  5. Loved Mrs. Tom Thumb and Alice I Have Been. Can’t wait to check out this new book!

  6. Lena says:

    This looks like a great read! Alice I Have Been was wonderful. I Can’t wait to pick this one up!

  7. Can’t wait to read this!!! Fabulous review, Erika! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Sounds like a great read. I’m still fairly new to historical fiction and haven’t read any of Melanie Benjamin’s work yet. I’ll definitely add this one to my list!

  9. emily says:

    I read ALICE I HAVE BEEN and love most of your recommendations, so this one looks great!

  10. Sounds like a good read. I’ve always been curious about that terrible, unsolved kidnapping. Nice review, Erika.

  11. erikarobuck says:

    Thanks for all of your comments! I can’t wait to pick a winner!!

  12. Diane Turner says:

    Thanks for another insightful review. The Aviator’s Wife is poised to be downloaded to my Kindle. Thanks.

  13. The Aviator’s Wife sounds fantastic! What a great review, Erika. It’s actually next in my to-read stack, and now I really look forward to starting it. Thanks (and please don’t enter me in the drawing… since I have a copy)!

  14. I’ve long been fascinated by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and have loved reading interviews with Melanie about her research and process โ€” namely, when to let go of the research. Looking forward to reading it.

  15. I would love to read this book. It is such a romantic period in time.

  16. I think I’ve said it before, but Jessica McCann and you (and Hallie) are converting me, one book at a time, to a historical fiction fanatic. I love multigenerational stories. This sounds lovely!

  17. I’m a huge fan of Melanie and would love to have a copy of her new book. All of her books are thoroughly researched and allow the reader to get deep inside this person’s mind. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

  18. I’ve been looking forward to this one!

  19. I have been waiting on this one! Cant wait to read it

  20. I am a huge fan! I have been looking forward to this book!

  21. Would love to win this! I have throughly enjoyed Melanie Benjamin’s other books.

  22. somerbhanson says:

    I’m beyond excited to read this!

  23. erikarobuck says:

    We have a winner, based on the famous “husband-pulls-name-out-of-a-hat” method: CYNTHIA ROBERTSON!!!

    Congratulations, and thank you to all who commented! When you read THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, I’d love to hear what you think.

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