Anne Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow, was my English teacher for four years. In the beginning I was mostly fascinated with the story of her kidnapped brother, of which she never spoke. It didn’t take long for me to forget her father, mother, and brother; she was an amazing teacher with abundant patience, joy, and love which I have not experienced in another.
My interest in the Lindbergh story was recently revived when I read a review for Melanie Benjamin’s latest novel The Aviator’s Wife. The novel is Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in fictionalized first person, telling her story from her time at Smith when she first met Charles, through their difficult marriage, to his death. In between we learn of Anne’s struggle to remain true to herself, her family, and to a man she deeply loved but who often treated her poorly. Through their entire marriage she remains in her husband’s heroic shadow even though in her own right she was an accomplished pilot and a celebrated author across many genres.
Melanie Benjamin has written a moving novel, illuminating the struggles of a woman who in life was incredibly private. I can’t help but wonder if she timed her release with Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s final work, published posthumously last year, entitled Against Wind and Tile: Letters and Journals, 1947-1986, on purpose. Maybe she wanted to draft behind Mrs. Lindbergh’s recent book of essays. Regardless, I thought it was a great read.
On a related note, Nova has just aired an interesting program Who Killed Lindbergh’s Baby? which you can watch online at www.pbs.org.