Thursday, December 27, 2012

Melanie Benjamin's New Novel The Aviator's Wife

Available January 15th
Melanie Benjamin is back!

One of our favorite local authors, Melanie Benjamin is back with her third novel, another fascinating work of historical fiction. This time she brings her heart and talent to the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh. 

The Aviator's Wife will be released on January 15, 2013. Melanie will be appearing at The Bookstore for a reception, author talk and book signing on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 7pm. We hope you and your book can club join us!

We think it's her best work yet. She has already written about the real Alice in Wonderland (Alice I Have Been, 2010, one of The Bookstore's all-time bestsellers) and one of the first famous little persons, Lavinia Warren Bump (The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, 2011). This time Melanie brings her fiction into the 20th century, with issues that are perfect for today's book clubs. There's nothing like a complicated celebrity marriage to get a book club talking late into the night. I won't be the first early reader to compare it to Loving Frank or The Paris Wife, both huge bestsellers and discussion-makers with our local book clubs.

Beginning in the 1920s, The Aviator's Wife is a beautifully imagined story about one woman's inner growth from a sheltered ambassador's daughter to a young, submissive celebrity wife to a devoted mother and feminist author. The book explores the highs and lows of Anne's life: the excitement that she experienced as Charles taught her how to fly, the frustration of being in a celebrity marriage, and the horror of their young son's kidnapping. 

When I first heard about the subject of Melanie's new book, I was reminded how much I loved Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea. When I first discovered it in the 1980s, I totally underestimated it. I thought it was just another pretty little coffee table book at my mother-in-law's house in Florida. I remember thinking it was a book for older women, women who still remembered the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping. When I finally picked it up, I was stunned. Here was a woman writing with feminist wisdom in 1952, long before the women's movement that I had come of age with in the 1970s. Anne Morrow Lindbergh was clearly ahead of her time. I have often wondered, who was this woman? 

Thanks to Melanie Benjamin's new book The Aviator's Wife, we can finally know her whole story. I think you'll love it as much as I do.

As an extra little bonus for friends of The Bookstore, you won't want to miss the Acknowledgements page of The Aviator's Wife. You just might see some Glen Ellyn names you know well. (Thanks, Melanie, what a thrill!) 

You can pre-order your copy of The Aviator's Wife here. We will call you to remind you on January 15th. In the meantime, you might want to pick up your own copy of Gift from the Sea. They make a great book pairing for the New Year!