The Aviator's Wife by Melanie BenjaminToday, at Great New Books, we have the pleasure of hosting our first guest contributor, Melanie Benjamin, author of the new historical novel, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE. Thanks to Melanie’s publisher, Delacorte / Random House, we have 3 copies of THE AVIATOR’S WIFE to give away (see below). Thank you, Melanie, for joining us at Great New Books today!

Melanie Benjamin, on one of her recent favorite books:

“This fall, I traveled to England for the first time.  I’m a life-long Anglophile, and despite having written a book set in England (ALICE I HAVE BEEN), I’d never been there.  But a looming big-number birthday (50) inspired me finally to travel to the land of tea and crumpets, and the book I chose to read on the flight over turned out to be entirely appropriate.  The Uncommon Reader Alan Bennett

THE UNCOMMON READER, by Alan Bennett, is a charming little tale asking a charming little “what if:”  What if Elizabeth II suddenly became a bookworm?  What if the sovereign became so absorbed in books she began to challenge everything she holds dear, and has spent her entire life upholding?

This book is extremely funny and touching as it depicts a staid queen slowly awakening to an entirely new world, and in the process, becoming younger and more hopeful, even witty and ribald, to the increasing alarm of those around her.   It’s also full of literary references, for those of us who care about these things.  It’s a quick read, and one I highly recommend.

This was the perfect book for me to read on my flight to London, and I admit, when I saw Buckingham Palace for the first time, I couldn’t help but imagine the queen pottering around with a book in her hand!”

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the national bestseller THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, a novel of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and the bestselling ALICE I HAVE BEEN and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB.

Her third novel, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, draws on the rich history of the twentieth century—from the late twenties to the mid-sixties—and features cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart. The Aviator’s Wife is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.

Melanie Benjamin lives in the Chicago area with her family, and is always looking for new stories to tell. For more, visit her website at


“Talented historical novelist Benjamin has a knack for picking intriguing, if somewhat obscure, women in history and making them utterly unforgettable…Intimately depicting [Anne and Charles Lindbergh’s] marriage of duty and partnership in the air, as well as the horrific kidnapping and murder of first child Charles Jr., this is less love story than voyeuristic glimpse at one of the 20th century’s most captivating men through the eyes of the woman who knew him best. In true Benjamin style, it’s Anne who captures us all in this exquisite fictional take on an iconic marriage.” Starred Review —Publishers Weekly

“Benjamin, author of the highly acclaimed Alice I Have Been (2010) and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb (2011), delivers another stellar historical novel based on the experiences of an extraordinary woman…Fictional biography at its finest.” Starred Review —Booklist


To enter the drawing to win one of the 3 copies of THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, leave a comment (any comment) below, from Wednesday, February 6 until Friday, February 8 at midnight Eastern time. Great New Books will email the winners individually and announce them in the comments on Saturday, February 9. Thank you for joining us!