Sunday, October 13, 2013

What's new this year? October edition

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

I'm a big fan of the sub-genre that is emerging composed of novels that tell the stories of significant others close to famous people. I haven't read one that I didn't like yet!
Melanie Benjamin
Some of the titles in this grouping are The Paris Wife (Hemingway), Loving Frank (Frank Lloyd Wright) and now The Aviator's Wife that tells Anne Morrow Lindbergh's story.  What makes these kinds of stories such a big deal to me is that it appeals to my thrifty side....its two stories for the price of one. While listening to The Aviator's Wife I learned about Charles Lindbergh's life through the eyes of Anne and I learned about Anne's fascinating life as well. Did you know that Anne served as Charles only co-pilot? He would fly with no one else.
Title:The Aviator's Wife
Author:Melanie Benjamin
Pub Date:January, 2013
Publisher:Delacourt Press

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This book records Anne's growth as a person from timid Anne always rushing to please her husband, taking his verbal abuse and moodiness to the gracious, confident woman who insisted on being buried separate from her husband.

I anxiously anticipated reading this book and it lived up to all my expectations.


The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls

Synopsis: Sisters, Liz and Jean (Bean) Holladay, daughters of actress/musician wannabe, Charlotte Holladay, find themselves fending for themselves while their mom is trying to find herself and her career in another city. When police come sniffing around, suspecting abandonment, the sisters hop on a bus to travel cross country to land at their Uncle's home in Byler, Virginia unannounced.

The story is narrated by the youngest sister nicknamed Bean. It is the story of perseverance, courage by two girls tired of running from problems like their Mother, not wanting to hide like their Uncle, facing the truth of their Mother's instability and mental problems and discovery and acceptance of their own heritage. There are many good themes and scenes, but truthfully there are many holes in the story and a degree of unbelievability.

Title:The Silver Star
Author:Jeanette Walls
Pub Date:June, 2013

Being the Walls fan that I am, I choose to chalk this up to her first attempt at writing fiction after two stellar
Jeanette Walls
memoirs in The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses. (I do realize that HBH is labeled fiction but it is essentially her grandmother's memoir and therefore a different experience than plotting and writing an entire fiction story from scratch.) Even so, it was a quick read and entertaining. It was difficult to not like the characters, especially Bean and her spunkiness. My guess is that future novels by Walls will offer more depth of character and have tighter plots. All in all, a good first venture into the field of fiction writing.