AVIAI just finished the wonderful new historical novel The Aviator’s Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin. In The Aviator’s Wife, Ms. Benjamin retells the story of one of the 20th century’s most famous couples, Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

The story of Mr. Lindbergh is perhaps one of the best known in modern times, and his wife was also well known, not just as the great “aviator’s wife” but as a celebrated author in her own right. But for the first time, the full story of the Lindberghs is told, although in fictional form, from Mrs. Lindbergh’s point of view and the result is a charming novel that allows you to experience history unfolding first hand.

About The Aviator’s Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin: “For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.”

Although The Aviator’s Wife is a good read and stays close to the real events and timeline of the Lindberg’s story, I think Ms. Benjamin makes some choices that make for a great novel at the expense of the legacy of a great, although complicated and flawed man, Charles Lindberg himself. That said, The Aviator’s Wife is a novel and as such it is a well structured and a compelling read. And like all good historical fiction, it sparks curiosity for the real life events that inspired the story.

ASBMeanwhile, A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Charles Lindbergh, Lindbergh, is one of my most favorite books of all time and made me admire what the young Lindbergh did on his historic flight if not admire some of what he stood for in later years. I highly recommend Mr. Berg’s book for anyone who is interested in the story of a young man who did an amazing thing and ended up the most famous man on the face of the earth.

Lindberg’s story is also about the birth of the cult of celebrity that we thought was an invention of the latter half of the 20th century. Perhaps no one in modern times, other than maybe Princess Diana, was followed by the media and torment by them, as was Mr. Lindbergh. The stories of just how famous the Lindbergh’s were is fascinating when looking back with a modern lens.

Fact or fiction, in The Aviator’s Wife and in the biography Lindberg, the story of Charles Lindberg, and his wife Anne Morrow, is as compelling as any other story in history.

The Aviator’s Wife: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.

Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg is also available from Amazon and other fine retailers.