The following discussion questions for “The Aviator's Wife” were created by our member Heather. We freely share our original discussion questions, but please consider including a credit and link to our website.
- What did you find most surprising about Charles Lindbergh? Were you shocked about the affairs and the other children that Charles Lindbergh had? What surprised you about Anne Lindbergh?
- This book talks a lot about heroes. Do you think Charles was a hero? How was Anne a hero? The book begins with Anne, hero worshipping Charles. How does Anne’s impression of Charles change as she gets to know him better? Did your opinion of Charles Lindbergh change as you read this story?
- How did fame and the paparazzi influence Charles’ and Anne’s lives? Do you think Charles wanted the fame?
- Anne says to Charles right before he dies, “I didn’t need a hero. I never needed a hero. I needed to be loved.” (p. 387). Do you think Charles loved Anne? How did he express his love to her?
- The Lindberghs' lives span decades of major changes in American life. Women getting the right to vote. World War II. The feminist movement. How does their marriage change or not change as women gain more rights?
- Women of this era were often defined by the men in their lives. Anne says, “I wondered who they saw when they looked at me. The ambassador’s daughter? The aviator’s wife? Or the lost boy’s mother” (p. 239).
- There are many examples of wives throughout this book…Anne’s mom, Anne, Anne’s sister, Elisabeth. How did these women define their role as wives? Were they similar or different? How did The Aviator’s Wife depict the experience of being a wife? Was Anne a good wife to Charles?
- Silence is a theme throughout the book. “Silence, I was learning—another thing to add to my syllabus!—was the response with which my husband felt most comfortable.” (p. 95) How does silence impact the lives of Charles and Anne? How else does silence impact Anne’s family? (her brother, Dwight; her sister, Elisabeth)
From the author’s website, melaniebenjamin.com:
- Anne seems to think of herself as an outsider —someone too shy and too plain and insular to make a big impression on someone else. Do you think Charles saw through this or do you think that this is what drew him to her? Do you think this was an accurate description of Anne?
- Do you think you could keep the secrets that Anne keeps from her children? Why or Why not?”
- What do you think flying represents to Anne? How does it compare to her with writing? Which do you think is more important to Anne?
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The Aviator's Wife discussion questions are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.