My wife suggested I read this book. She had for one of her book clubs (she is in two...one is quite literary and the other quite liquorly). I had downloaded the Kindle version for her to an iPad I had passed down. I read it on my own device but was able to see what she had highlighted in the book. Each yellow highlight seemed like a direct message to me or perhaps I was overly sensitive because you see, The Aviator's Wife, covers the Lingbergh's very public lives but it's purpose is to imagine the private relationship of the marriage. This makes it intriguing and so well done that I felt like a fly on their bedroom wall.
It also illuminated this interesting person who was Anne. She was a groundbreaker in aviation (what a terrible set of words), tremendous writer, and stalwart human. We are all aware of the famous flights, the infamous kidnapping, America First, and his numerous infidelities and seven other children by three other women but in this book we see just how Anne contends and supports this eccentric, narcissistic, yet still, enigmatic man. Benjamin's style is fluid. It reflects both an identification and frustration with Anne. Here are some bon mots...
“Marriage breeds its own special brand of loneliness, and it’s far more cruel. You miss more, because you’ve known more.”
“To live for oneself is a terrifying prospect; there is comfort in martyrdom..."
"Jealousy is a terrible thing. It keeps you up at night, it demands tremendous energy in order to remain alive, and so you have to want to feed it, nurture it—and by so wanting, you have to acknowledge that you are a bitter, petty person. It changes you. It changes the way you view the world; minor irritations become major catastrophes; celebrations become trials.”
"Here, I understood, was someone who would not allow me to take comfort in inertia. Already, I was different with him. Better. More.”
"A woman's life, always changing, accommodating, then shedding, old duties for new; one person's expectations for another until finally, victoriously, emerging stronger. Complete.”
Far from chicklit, this was an engrossing tale that I label under a sub genre called, "historical marriagelit". This is a poor descriptor because most men would run from it when they should pick it up for the entertainment and lessons it provides.