The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin

You guys. This book was such a surprise. I checked it out from the library (side note: I have a library card again!! My brother-in-law Brad (aka my new favorite library pal) got a card at my request (or, begging, as the case may be) from his local library, and since he isn’t a big reader, gave me the card number to link to my kindle! I am over the moon about this!! ?⭐️? I feel like I’m just ripping through books now with this newly-rediscoverd freedom of just trying a book without the obligation of buying it first, which always made me feel like I really had to research a book before buying to make sure I would like it. But NOW – library!!! I feel like that song from Arthur is the song of my heart – “Having fun isn’t hard, when you got a library card!” Anyone remember that???). Anyway. I checked it out from my library for no other reason than that it was one of the most popular e-books that happened to be available immediately, without needing to put it on hold. I went into it having almost no idea what it was going to be about.

anne morrow lindbergh

So let me tell you. It’s historical fiction about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I only vaguely recognized her name, and could just faintly connect it to the book Gift from the Sea. I guess I’ve been living under a rock or something, because apparently Anne and her husband Charles (who was the first guy to fly solo across the ocean) were super famous and just hounded by the media. Like Lady-Diana-hounding.

The more I read, the more I realized Anne is an absolutely fascinating person. She’s totally rad. She lived in a time when wives were expected to have dinner on the table the moment the husband got home – ‘nough said, right? And while she lived up to the expectations set for her, she was also doing crazy stuff that other women of her time could never even dream of. She had her pilot’s license ✈️ and flew solo and with Charles all around the world. She learned celestial navigation and parachuted out of airplanes to land in rivers while the plane went down. She explored places on the earth people hadn’t seen in centuries. And still managed to raise a family and do all those ‘womanly’- things? in all that!

She had to have been one of the first women in the modern age to try juggling a career outside the home and being a mother in the home. It was a struggle for her and she found herself torn between the two a lot, as I’m sure a lot of us do.

Then about halfway through the novel, things get a little crazy when her firstborn son gets kidnapped. Are you even kidding me?! I won’t spoil what happens for you. I spoiled it for myself halfway through the story by looking it up on wikipedia because I just could not stand the tension. Here I was expecting this happy story about this pilot’s wife (which is basically what I got from the title and cover) and then wham! Crazy twist about kidnapped babies to read about while I hold my own little baby. Terry was like “um, maybe you shouldn’t be reading this right now.” (I have a problem with being super into whatever story I’m reading or watching. Life in my head is intense. ?) Well, it’s not my fault I’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t heard about this apparently super famous event in kind-of-recent history.

Seriously, this novel blew me away. I was captivated through the whole thing. Anne and Charles both had their faults and flaws, and their strengths and triumphs. They felt so real through the whole thing. I finished the book and immediately had to start researching more about Anne’s life, because I just had to know more about her. That’s got to be the mark of a good historical fiction book, right?

Try this one. Who knows, maybe you won’t even need to wait on the library holds list before you can get your hands on it. ?