The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a historical fiction novel that explores the private life of Charles and Anne Lindbergh in their very public environment. Anne and Charles meet shortly after he completes his first solo flight across the Atlantic. It doesn’t take long for the two to be swept up in their love for each other and begin their headlining marriage. Anne quickly becomes the first female to carry a pilots license and becomes Charles co-pilot. However, all of her success never brings her out of the shadows of her husband. The two face many hardships over the years including the kidnapping of their son and the public’s dislike of Charles because of his view towards Germany. Despite everything, Anne always kept her adventuring spirit and continued to chase her dreams.
I really liked this book and I learned so much about this famous couple. They were constantly being hounded by the press and having their every move scrutinized. I can’t imagine the strain that would put on a marriage. However, Anne was incredibly strong in an era when women were not considered to be. She never let anything stop her. This is a great book for anyone who loves historical fiction or needs a good read for their book club. After finishing this book I realize that I want to know even more about Anne, so now I am reading War Within and Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and I am planning to read Gift From the Sea(By Anne Morrow Lindbergh).
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan was a refreshing read about the many women who helped win World War II. More than 75,000 people flocked to Oak Ridge Tennessee to work on the secret project to help end the war. Surprisingly most of the people that moved to Oak Ridge were young women fresh out of school and from small towns. It was these women who helped change the world forever.
I loved this book and was completely enthralled. My favorite part of the book was reading about the female physicists who escaped Nazi Germany and how they helped develop fusion. Although, it was frustrating to learn they were never credited for their contribution. I found it fascinating to read about the building of Oak Ridge. This town was designed for one purpose, to build the atomic bomb, but the amount of work that went into creating the buildings and the labs was extraordinary. Not only did they have to supply buildings for the project, but they had to create enough housing for the massive amount of workers. They were doing all of this while the war was raging on. The military was used to setting up camps, but the women were ready to set up a community. How they created this town was remarkable and really worth reading about. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Marjane Satrapi’s memoir The Complete Persepolisis an honest look at growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi tells her story through the media of a graphic novel allowing her to depict her life not only through words but images. This is a coming of age story that starts with a girl going to high school in Vienna, far from home and being forced to work through her depression and feelings of isolation. After several years Satrapi returns to Iran but finds that her happiness is overshadowed by fundamentalist rules. Eventually, she discovers that she must exile herself from her homeland.
The characters are genuine and real; I especially love her free-thinking parents. You feel all of Satrapi’s emotions as she goes from being an adolescent to an adult. I thought the black and white child-like artwork suited the memoir – sometimes humorous while also covering serious issues. It was fascinating to learn about Iran’s history through the eyes of someone who’s lived it.