Friday, March 29, 2013

Lisa C.'s a Big Fan of Melanie Benjamin's Books

"If you haven't read Melanie Benjamin's novels - put all of them on your to-read list. The Aviator's Wife is the story about Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her marriage to Charles Lindbergh.

It is fiction but Melanie researched it so well that when she weaves in historical details into the fiction - it is seamless. It is helpful there is an author's note at the back which explains what is fact and what is fiction, but don't read it until the end. She also offers a great reading list for additional information on the Lindberghs.

For me, it was the first time, other than reading Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, that I felt like I sort of understood her. She and Charles had a complicated relationship, formed by cultural  mores of the time.  In spite of what seemed to be dictates for women of her era, she was fearless, attacked every opportunity to fly, to explore, to travel the world, survived the horrific family tragedy, and she raised her children mostly on her own. Anne grew into a woman who understood what she wanted from life. Benjamin's fictional telling of her story highlights the beauty, the tragedy and makes it a story how one fascinating woman lived with grace. She, like her husband, had faults, but I would like to believe she came to a realization on her own that people can change....well, some people. 

I love how Melanie highlights historical women in her stories. Alice I have Been about Alice Liddell (Louis Carrol's Alice), The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb - now this one. I love them all."

--Lisa C.

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