The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a fascinating fictional look into the lives of the golden family, the Lindberghs, and is a solid piece of historical fiction. I vaguely remember hearing bits about Charles Lindbergh in high school US History classes: flying across the channel, helping bring about commercial air travel, his involvement in America First, etc. His accomplishments anchor this story too, but it is told through his wife’s eyes and focuses on her personal and their family life as well.
They married young but the way Benjamin tells the story, it was Anne's resilience and dependability that strengthened the match initially, more so than romance. She became his navigator in the air and on the ground, learning how to be his copilot (the only one he ever had) and navigate by the stars, charting courses for their Asian exploration and more, while also coordinating their family, house, and more. Through impossibly tough situations like the kidnapping and murder of their first child, being pursued by paparazzi, and Charles’s relationship with Nazi Germany, the author takes you deep into Anne's perspective, involving you in the highs and lows of their high-profile life together.
A fascinating story grounded in American history, it is an enlightening journey through a strong woman’s life, and while not a biography, I ended the book with a sense of who she was, what her family was like, and also the course of the country through these pivotal decades.