I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.
My input on The Aviator's Wife written by Melanie Benjamin. First I have to say thank you so much Ricki Jill for telling us about her blogger book club. I am enjoying the group and this book I would safely say is the best book I have read all year. I just loved this book. I was so involved in it I would dream about it. Another night while I was in the chapters where the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped I could not put the book down so I kept reading and reading and reading until I noticed it was 3:45 am and my alarm was going to go off at 5:45 am. I made myself put it down so I could take a nap before I had to get up and have a full day at work. I am just going to put my input about this book instead of a review because how awesome of a job Ricki Jill did. If you have not read her review yet, please do! You can find it by clicking here.
This book definitely changed my opinion or added to the one I had of Charles Lindbergh. I found him disturbing at times. Well a lot of times, one thing I found disturbing was how one of his qualities he wanted of a spouse is someone who has no mental health or any health issues in the family. Due to this, Anne had to quickly keep the mental issues of her brother from Charles. Charles wanted his children to be pure. I feel this is one reason Hitler was of interest to Charles. I absolutely hated how he treated his one true friend who was Jewish. It just made me sick. I wished Anne would have been strong enough and stand up for her beliefs during the WWII era and not stand behind her husband because she did not have the same view. She should have never had backed his belief in public.
The fact he had three other relationships with other women and fathered a total of seven children from these women angered me as well while his family was left without their father/husband. I wonder if he chose these women, all German, because of the pure race thought of Germans during that era. He was not the best father, he was rarely there for them as well as a horrible husband.
In some ways, I cannot help but feel sorry for him at times. The way the media fed on him and would not let him have one private moment I think the media played a contributing role to the kidnapping of the famous Lindbergh baby. This life event was horrible for both mother and father. It was also what I believe was where the sink hole began in their marriage. I just cannot imagine going through what they did. I feel although Charles was very private and rarely showed emotion, felt he was at fault in some way and he never forgave himself for it or letting Anne down by not bring their child home to her as he promised.
A couple of times the book made me reflect back to last Summer's vacation to Washington D.C. The first time was when Charles talked about the Spirit of St Louis being taken from him early in his relationship with Anne. The plane was placed in the Smithsonian. I could also visually see him standing at the Smithsonian later in the book when they went to see the astronauts in D.C. Charles asked Anne if she would marry him all over agian because he realized how much she had grown and she actually enjoyed parties and dancing unlike he and they did within their marriage. Anne never answered him the night he asked. It was while he was standing inside the Smithsonian viewing his famous plane when Anne replied back to his question if she would marry him all over again. I loved how she was able to see him smile from her response and how he reached out and held her hand. This is the image I felt they saw.
It was a very moving spot for us too while we were there.
Although I felt Charles was a horrible I do felt he loved Anne in his own weird way. He had a lot of faith in her where she had self doubt, such as navigating by the stars. He was very proud of how she handled pressure and wanted to protect her. I think this is why he could not forgive himself for the loss of their first child. He felt she was well educated and he very much supported her to be a famous author, so much he created a cabin for her to get away and write. I truly want to read her book now A Gift From The Sea. I loved how the book showed the readers how much Anne grew as a person. My favorite quote from this book would also be the same Ricki Jill quoted, Anne's mother telling her to stop looking for heroes.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction and if you are a women. Why if you are a woman? Because she is a strong role model for women in my opinion.