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Book review: 'The Aviators Wife' tells powerful fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 11 2013 7:31 p.m. MST

"THE AVIATOR'S WIFE," by Melanie Benjamin, Delacorte Press, $26, 416 pages (f)

"The Aviator's Wife" by Melanie Benjamin is a fictional historical novel that focuses on the marriage of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Told from the perspective of Anne, "The Aviators Wife" is a powerful book that brings a relatively obscure woman into the spotlight.

The book begins by introducing us to Anne Morrow, a shy young woman who is used to living in the shadows. Her father, the new United States ambassador to Mexico, is a millionaire who is used to living in the spotlight. Traveling to Mexico to be with her family for the holidays, Anne meets Col. Charles Lindbergh at her father's mansion.

Anne is struck by the colonel and his mysterious nature. She is charmed by his good looks but determines that he will not want anything to do with her.

Soon enough, however, Anne and Charles begin dating in secret before eventually announcing their engagement. Thus begins Anne's life married to one of the most famous people in the world.

Benjamin masterfully writes Anne's story of self discovery. It is an eye-opening book as the reader discovers that Anne was an acclaimed pilot and navigator who accompanied her husband on many of his famous trips around the globe.

The most powerful part of the book comes when Anne and Charles discover that their firstborn child was kidnapped and eventually murdered by a fanatic. Based off of a true event, the emotion in these chapters is raw and heartbreaking.

Readers should be advised that there are references to a woman having same-sex attraction. Readers should also be aware of brief scenes with couples having sex. Benjamin tastefully writes about these scenes and avoids any explicit language or innuendo.

"The Aviator's Wife" is a book that is appealing to adult women — because of the content and because of the real and tragic love story of Anne and Charles Lindbergh.

Benjamin, who penned this new book, is also the acclaimed author of "Alice I have Been" and "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thum."

Shelby Scoffield has a bachelor's in English from Brigham Young University and a master's in rhetoric and composition from Stanislaus State University. She is currently working on her teaching credentials so she can teach high school English.

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