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November 28, 2020

Under a Wing

 


Nonfiction - Memoir
1998 Delta
Finished on November 26, 2020
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

"We Lindberghs still know ourselves best as a tribe: close-knit, self-enclosed, and self-defining, always prepared to be besieged by invisible forces upwelling from the past...."

The world knew Charles Lindbergh as a daring aviator, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and controversial isolationist in World War II. His wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was a bestselling author. To their five children they were Father, never Daddy, and Mother. Charles, a stern yet loving father, was surprisingly affectionate and playful; Anne provided a great, gentling love. With remarkable candor, their youngest daughter provides a rare, intimate look at her legendary family...the pervasive impact of her brother's kidnapping and death...the complexity of her parents' long, loving marriage...the night her life and her mother's converged, as Reeve's own infant son died suddenly. With grace and insight, Reeve Lindbergh appraises her remarkable parents, her unusual childhood, and the troubling questions that remain. At once an eloquent reminiscence and a slice of American history, Under a Wing is, at its core, a heartfelt tribute to an extraordinary family.

I read Reeve Lindbergh's collection of essays, Forward From Here, a couple of years ago and it was a bit of a disappointment. I've had Under a Wing on my shelves for many years and decided to read it for this year's Nonfiction November challenge. Sadly, it was another letdown. I almost quit after the first 100 pages, but decided to skim the last half of the book. I've always been a little curious about the Lindberghs and had hoped to learn more about the family from Reeve's perspective, but quite honestly, I found her memoir dull and repetitive. My recommendation for those interested in the Lindbergh family is to read The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, which I thought it was terrific. Reeve's books, however, were unsatisfying.

Click on the links to read my earlier reviews.

12 comments:

  1. I've read Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh years ago, beautifully written. I also read a biography of her at one time, but I never could adjust to Charles and his support for the Nazi regime. Haven't read The Aviator's Wife, but may add that one to my list.

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    1. Jenclair, I have also read Gifts from the Sea (on audio) and loved it. I've meant to reread it for such a long time and should have added it to my nonfiction stack this month. I have issues with Charlies for both his anti-semitic beliefs and his unfaithfulness to Anne and their children. I used to think it was pretty special that he was a guest at my grandparents' house one Christmas Eve (my grandfather flew for PanAm and knew Lindbergh) and I even have the autograph he gave to my mom, but having learned more about him, the less I'm impressed.

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  2. I was gearing up to recommend The Aviator's Wife but I see you've read it already. I really enjoyed it.

    A book that's tangentially related to Lindbergh is One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. A lot was going on in the country that year but one chapter is devoted to Lindbergh and his flight across the country. It was really interesting.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Jen. I remember when Bryson's book came out and I intended to get it for my husband (he's read all of Bryson's books). Somehow, I forgot about it, but I think I'll order it for him for Christmas. I can read it when he's finished. :)

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  3. My mother was in high school when Lindbergh flew, and remembered the adulation and worship of this hero, and then the way he turned, frankly, into a Nazi supporter. I've read the Bryson book, which really tallies with her memories, and also Philip Roth's Plot Against America, the counterfactual history when Lindbergh becomes President. I reread it four years ago -- it was painfully prescient.

    I think I'll skip the one you reviewed. No need to return him to heroic status.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae, I remember when Philip Roth's book came out and I was curious, but never got around to reading it. I'm not sure I could stomach it now. On the other hand, Bryson's book is one I'll get to share with my husband. Thanks for your input. Take good care.

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  4. Definitely passing on this one.

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    1. Deb, I wish I could recommend it, but it just wasn't for me.

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  5. Yeah I still have a curiosity about the Lindberghs .... perhaps I'll try Melanie Benjamin's novel sometime. thx

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    1. Susan, The Aviator's Wife is very good on audio. Here's my review of that book.

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  6. Oh, my gosh! I feel just the opposite! Her books are among my most favorite. I have read some of them more than once. I am so very fond of her - both the person and her writing. Isn't that just so amazing. I would never, ever read a novel to find out the truth. I can't even believe that fictionalizing someone's life can be allowed. Anne wrote a million books of her own that people could learn from. My favorite, as it is many women's is A Gift From the Sea.

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    1. Nan, as I was composing my review, I could hear you exclaiming pretty much exactly what you wrote! I know how much you love her books and I really wanted to, as well. And, yes, A Gift from the Sea is one of my favorite books by Anne. I still have one more on my shelf by Reeve (The Names of the Mountains) and will give it a try in the coming months. She sure has written a lot of children's books, hasn't she?

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