The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Aviator's Wife

Plot Summary Part 1

Anne was a woman in the 1920's who gets invited to a ride in Charles Lindbergh's rickety airplane. I say rickety because one of the wheels came off as the plane launched, and Lindbergh had to crash land. Instead of being terrified by the experience, Anne, like a fool, wanted more of it. And then the book suddenly jumped forward in time, and Anne is married to Lindbergh; it feels like their entire courtship was on the crash landing.

All we learn is that on their wedding night Charles' hands were strong, very strong, and gave Anne both pleasure and pain. Pain? Do you think he fisted her? We get no further explanation.

Anne knew that air flight was hardly safe and she saw a gory plane crash but knew it could never happen to her because Charles was such a good pilot. What a fool! She paid no attention to the fact that planes in the 1920's were incredibly dangerous.

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Anne passes the test to become a pilot herself, although throughout the book almost never flies a plane. But she recounts the moment with pride. Look at me! Look at me! She says. I can fly a plane! And I am a woman! Both at the same time!

Anne has sister named Elizabeth. One day she walks in on Elizabeth doing a lesbo thing with another lady named Connie. This was the 1920's and lesbians didn't exactly get their own talk show on MBNBC.  Anne was so shocked that she ran away without saying a word.

Anne meets with Elizabeth later to discuss her sister's carpet munching activities.  Liz says she's ashamed to be a Lez. Liz says she has fought her lesbian instincts but finally gave in and let Connie munch her down there. Liz says she wants a husband and kids but says her lesbianism is an illness and she wants to be cured. Wow! This book isn't very politically correct, is it?

Anne gives birth to a baby named Charles Jr. Charles wants to fly away for six months around the world and leave the baby behind in the hands of a nurse. Anne wants to stay with her new baby but Charles persuades her to abandon her child. After all, the baby will still be there when they get back, won't it? (Just wait and see, heh heh heh.)

So Charles and Anne go flying around the world. They get as far as China and their plane crashes into a river and sinks. Charles portrays this around the world trip that ends in their sinking in a Chinese river as a great victory, and gives many promotional interviews about his glorious failure.

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