Wow. Just...wow. It is truly possible to like a book - the way it is written, the lovely language, the flow...and absolutely HATE the main characters. I know, because I enjoyed the way that Melanie Benjamin told the tale of the fairy-tale Lindberghs, but I had real difficulties with both of them.
I knew what most people know about Charles Lindbergh before I started this book. He was the first to fly a plane alone across the Atlantic. His baby son was kidnapped and was killed.
However, if what Melanie Benjamin tells us is true, he was a horrid, loathsome person. He was cold, manipulating, unemotional, bigoted and selfish. I've rarely met a character in a novel I've disliked more, whether based on a real person or totally imaginary. And as much as I wanted to pity Anne, his wife, I ended up angry with her much of the time. I so wanted to shake her! She knew exactly what kind of person her husband was, and yet she did not have the self-respect and faith in herself to leave him. Her family was wealthy - supporting herself and her children was not the problem. Her problem was her obsession with this horrible man.
I ended up really disliking both of them in many ways. If these people truly were like the people portrayed in Ms. Benjamin's novel, I'm very glad I didn't know them.
The book itself was wonderfully written, and I continued through with it even though I hated the couple in question. That says volumes about the author's ability to tell an absorbing story.
This book is well written, entertaining and informative. So much that I did not know about this period of time. I knew of the Lindbergh's but not the complete story. While I learned a lot, I learned it through reading an enjoyable book. I couldn't put it down and was up till 2:30 am several nights reading it. Anne Morrow Lindbergh was inspiring woman. A quiet woman who stood in the shadows of her famous husband and father. Her own accomplishments were overlooked and yet she kept going. Having read several books on wives of famous husbands- this book is much different. Anne Morrow Lindbergh is very likeable. She is an author diplomat and an accomplished aviator. She represents what so many of us have strive to be,and what we dream of being. You will love this book! I look forward to them making a movie of it sometime in the future!
I am just finishing up this book and I have totally enjoyed it. It is packed full of behind the scenes info that is really an eye opener. There was so much I did not know about this famous man and his left in the shadows wife and this book will not be forgotten for some time.
Melanie Benjamin has written a riveting novel told from the first-person viewpoint of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who is an ambassador's daughter, an accomplished writer, a mother, an aviatrix and THE aviator's wife. All of these descriptions shape and define her, but none more so than her marriage to the enigmatic Charles Lindbergh.
The diffident, idealistic Anne at the beginning of the novel is not the Anne at its end. During the course of her marriage to Charles, she suffered unimaginable heartbreak when her first child was kidnapped and murdered, confusion about her role in her rigid husband's life and inconceivable betrayal by a man with the title of "hero." This book was obviously well researched and provides an insight, although fictionalized, into the complicated marriage of two diverse individuals whose mark on 20th century history is well known.