A glimpse into the private life (and hell) of one of the world's most famous couples.
I confess to knowing very little about Anne Morrow Lindbergh prior to reading Melanie Benjamin's The Aviator's Wife. The wife of legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, she was, in my mind, a background player in the sweeping drama that was his life. Reading Benjamin's book, a work of historical fiction that traces Anne's life from her first meeting with Charles in 1927 to his death in 1974, significantly altered this perspective.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh lived an unimaginable life. She was rich, well-educated and, at the age of 23, married to the most famous man in the world. Lucky Lindy, as Charles was called after his famous transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, traveled the globe with Anne, who served as his navigator and copilot. Wherever they landed, they were greeted by a media frenzy beyond anything Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could imagine.
It was a glamorous but isolating existence, with Anne placed firmly under the thumb of her husband. Charles Lindbergh demanded much from his wife, gave only brief moments of tenderness in return and, as Anne would discover prior to his death, cheated on her with numerous women.
From the tragedy of her first son's kidnapping to her own achievements as a pilot, and later, an author, Anne Morrow Lindbergh lived a life of unparalleled adventure and heartbreak on the public stage. The Aviator's Wife provides a front row seat to history as it unfolds in the lives of a couple scrutinized and judged by each other as well as the world.
Melanie Benjamin will be in Worthington on Thursday, July 25, 2013 as part of the library's Hear & Now author series!