The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Loved it! I very much enjoy the fictional bio/autobio style and Melanie Benjamindoes it so well! A pretty significant number of people are already familiar with many aspects of the life of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, but so much of it just the most basic details, since they tried so hard to shield the details of their lives from the world. In this novel, Benjamin helps us to imagine what the intimate details behind the events might have been. And I ADORE the fact that she doesn't let little details like facts get in the way. Sure, she does diligent research and gives you the accurate essentials, but she also lets her imagination run amok in the name of a good story. She puts it out in the open that she does not mean for her works to be taken as non-fiction, so she doesn't let her stories be weighted down if it is going to take away from the interest and intrigue. I read a quote from Benjamin at http://www.biographile.com/good-prose... where she says "My biggest reward as an author is when I hear, "Now I have to go buy more books about this person!" and she certainly succeeded with this one...I have spent several hours both while reading and since finishing this asking the Google machine more questions about the Lindbergh's, as well as looking up her novel (Gift from the Sea), his memoir (The Spirit of St. Louis and several of his biographies to add to my reading list. For facts and figures, I will read those...for good, intriguing storytelling I'll stick with Benjamin. I am excited to see who her next subject is!
My only boo on this one, and what kept it from 5*, is that I felt a bit drawn down by how severely Anne was portrayed as the martyr at times. Yes, this is the point and I get that the story would have gone a completely different direction had it not been for these details, but I definitely had to stop the my internal dialogue from falling into a case of the "blah, blah, blah's" on a few occasions. I think all of the events and descriptions involved with these times were important and worthy, but just that they could have been summarized a bit and not drawn out quite so much, quite so many times.
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*NetGalley Advanced Read*