Sunday, December 21, 2014


Book Review

The Aviator’s Wife

2/27/2013

Book 022813Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Shirley Shiffler

Delacorte Press

Jan. 15, 2013

$26

DM Art Center

402 pp.

In 1927, during her senior year of college, Anne Morrow meets the dazzling hero Charles Lindbergh, fresh from his historic solo flight to Paris. She is enthralled, and as amazed as the rest of the world, when he asks her to marry him and to be his copilot. Realizing quickly that he was not just being romantic, she soon earns her own pilot’s license. Anne proves to be a talented aviatrix, and works just as tirelessly as Charles in pushing the science of aviation forward. While her achievements are now readily acknowledged, in interviews at the time she was often asked to field questions relating to the housekeeping duties on the plane.              

As their life together unfolds, we are shown how much the press and public demand of the Lindberghs, ultimately being blamed for the heartbreaking loss of their firstborn son. To escape, the couple flees to Europe, eventually settling in Germany, where the government-run press has been ordered to leave them alone. Charles’ relationship with the Nazis caused almost irreparable damage to his reputation back home, and Anne speaks of that time with honesty. When the United States finally enters the war, the Lindberghs return to serve in the Armed Forces, and remain to raise their family of five children.            

For years, Anne was clouded by the shadow of her husband and the ghost of her kidnapped child, and her everyday life was filled with the demands of five children and an often absent husband. In the 1950s, Charles encouraged her to finally pursue her dream of becoming a writer, and her efforts culminated in the enormously popular book, “Gift of the Sea.” “The Aviator’s Wife” is a deeply moving testament to her strength of character in the face of an often turbulent marriage to a cold, controlling man. CV

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