Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Aviator's Wife

“The Aviator’s Wife” is a 413 page, “Historic Novel” written by Melanie Benjamin, originally published by Random house in 2013 and later that year by Bantam Books in Paperback. It is considered “historic fiction” but tells the story of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow from the time of their first meeting soon after his famous flight in 1927, till his death in 1974. While it is considered fiction, a high percentage of it is factual and the part that isn’t, is beautifully woven in to the story and could have happened. I understand that the author will be at the Seward Memorial Library this fall for a discussion of the book. Carolyn had read it and told me enough a couple weeks ago to spike my interest; I finished it this morning. I don’t really know what to say about it and plan to withhold any judgment till meeting the author and hearing the discussion. The published reviews cover the whole spectrum from praise to admonishment. Though I feel the author did a good job of depicting the times in which the story takes place, it is difficult for anyone to do unless they actually “lived it”. As a city kid, I remember my first time of seeing an airplane fly over our house in Seward. I was about 5 years old and it was a bi-plane flying east. By the time we moved to the farm a couple years later, I was already interested in “building” model planes and gliders. The first book report that I wrote in HS was on Lindbergh’s “We”. I took a one semester course on “Aviation” in HS where we learned about “celestial navigation”. We finished the course with a field trip to the Lincoln Flying School which was where Lindbergh learned to fly. When we got to Washington, D.C. my office was a short walk to the old Smithsonian Castle where “The Spirit of St. Louis” was on display. I never missed a chance to walk guests over to see the plane and point out the copper funnel in front of the pilot seat and the small copper pipe from the funnel extending a few inches below the body of the plane. After all, the flight took over 30 hours. And, now I read historic fiction about “my hero” and wonder…

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