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Under a Wing: A Memoir Hardcover – October 2, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068480770X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684807706
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Reeve Lindbergh's memoir offers a uniquely intimate portrait of her family led by her intensely private father, aviator Charles Lindbergh, and mother, writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Under a Wing captures both her parents' complex personalities with immediacy and intimacy. Reeve explores the contrast between a loving father who "would parade imaginary animals across our backs" and the exacting patriarch who, upon return from his frequent absences, called each of his five children into his office to peruse a handwritten list of their achievements and failures. She seems anguished in her response to one of Charles's notorious, bigoted speeches: "How could someone who spoke the words my father did in 1941," she asks, "how did such a person then raise children who by his instruction and his example, day after day and year after year, had learned from him ... that such words were repellent and unspeakable?" She offers too a blunt but tender portrait of Anne in old age--she has been physically and mentally impaired by a series of stroke--that proves she has a mature understanding of a deeply loving woman who nonetheless always held some part of herself in reserve for her writing. This impressive memoir brings readers close to the private people within two legendary public figures.

From Publishers Weekly

Having already written about her family's life after Charles Lindbergh's death in the autobiographical novel The Names of the Mountains, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's youngest has written an evocative reminiscence of her youth in Darien, Conn., with her two famous parents. This gentle memoir shows a unique and uniquely poignant family life: "In our family it has always been hard to know what is right and what is wrong, in terms of what we can do for one another. It has been hard for us, too, to separate individual identity from family identity." The resulting publicity left their family with a fear of exposure. The author's father was always wary of what others could see?a cautiousness that extended to clothes, architecture and even the color of the family car. Although her father was constantly trying to shape and mold his children (no Wonder Bread, marshmallow fluff, grape jelly or candy was allowed at home and lectures and discussions were frequent), his widely perceived anti-Semitism ultimately hurt his family deeply. Anne Morrow Lindbergh emerges from this retrospective as a gentle, even ethereal, intellectual whose style was the polar opposite of her husband's. While the reader might like to know more about Reeve and her own family, instead, we are given an intimate look at other family members and at her parents' marriage. From an idyllic?if somewhat isolated?youth in Darien, to her father's death and her mother's mental deterioration, Reeve has watched and learned and shared with readers what she refers to as the living language of her parents' marriage.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I have enjoyed other writings by Reeve and enjoyed them very much.
Ellen Pals
There can be no doubt that Reeve Lindbergh's memoir is the most touching book about that family that I have read.
shirley lieb
What I especially like about Reeve Lindbergh's memoir is its candid and utterly sincere tone.
Richard Salva

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Reeve Lindbergh's memoirs are a must read for anyone who has read the diaries and letters of her mother and father, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Reeve's disclosures on what it was like growing up as a Lindbergh tie all the rest of the books about the family together. The passages concerning the kidnapping of Reeve's brother are haunting, and for the first time, you see this child as someone's brother, not a subject of a newspaper account. The similarity between Reeve Lindbergh's writing style and that of her mother's is striking and quite poignant.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John Elkin on November 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Somehow you just imagine that children of the famous are well taken care of and have a choice of things to do with their lives. Being a student of the Lindbergh writings and accomplishments for more years than I care to admit; I gave little thought to the children of Charles and Anne. If you read the writings of Charles Lindbergh you get a sense of a life well ordered and possibly ridgid, of a disaplined mind and a man who requires disapline around him. It never gave me cause to think about what kind of father he would be, but I had my suspicions. It was refreshing to read about the good times as well as the bad with her Father. It eases the mind to know that he wasn't a "Daddy-dearest", however he had his quirks. Reeve paints a story about a life before and after losing her father that is rewarding and taxing, just like our own. About loss and gain, but mostly loss. However after losing people close to you, it's hard to not focus on the loss. I finished this book and was emotionally drained, Reeve takes the reader on a roller-coaster emotional ride.. much like her Mother's writings. When all is said and done I had answers to questions I had wondered and learned new things I had not known before. What more could you ask of a book?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By shirley lieb on February 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There can be no doubt that Reeve Lindbergh's memoir is the most touching book about that family that I have read. Through her eyes we go beyond the covers of other books and see what it really meant to be a Lindbergh.
They were almost a closed society onto themselves, yet they still experienced the same joys and sorrows as the rest of us. We find the man who was depised as an isolationist to be a concerned and loving father who read to his children.
We dine with the children at their grandmother's house and we soar above the Connecticut house on Saturdays. The famed aviator at the controls and a bored child in the rear seat.
After reading this book I felt very attached to this famous family. Being the same age as Reeve herself, my only knowledge of the Lindbergh's was the famous flight and the kidnapping as I read in history books. Now, after this book, I feel as though I have become part of them.
It can only be summed up in one word, wonderful.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "masonx" on August 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Caught the author Reeve Lindberg on the Oprah show recently when Peter Jennings was her guest.During the brief time she spoke impressed me greatly that I went out and brought the book.It is an intimate detailed biography of growing up with a famous dad who wasnt there most of the time.She only talks little of the kidnapping as she was not born at the time.I liked that for all there fame John and Anne(who is still alive)were determined to give their kids a normal childhood.One of my ten best biographies for the decade.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By BleakOutpost on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reeve Lindbergh tells stories that we want to hear about everyday life with her famous, complicated father and her intelligent, artistic mother. Reeve's delicate, precise prose is reminiscent of her mother's style of writing. A reviewer said of Anne Lindbergh that she "combed" her life for meaning and the daughter seems tuned into that same compulsion. It helps that she writes with as much insight as did her mother. The passage that describes the hours mother and daughter spent together after the death of Reeve's child is heartbreakingly revealing of the private Anne and her anguish after the kidnapping and death of her own child. Reeve's reminiscences of flying with her father (she was not an enthusiast) and her longing for her enigmatic father are poignant. She does not avoid discussing Lindbergh's perceived anti-Semitism; she does not attempt to defend him but rather keeps her emphasis on the effect this controversy had (and has) on her connection with him. I challenge any daughter to read Reeve's account of her visit to her father's childhood home without weeping.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have nothing to add about this fascinating, well-written book. But I do want to urge people who have read Under A Wing, and other books about the Lindberghs, or by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to also read Reeve's novel, The Names of Mountains. It provides another side of the story of this family. A fictionalized account of growing up Lindbergh, it provides insight into Reeve's experiences and her relationship with her mother, and the sorrows and joys they shared.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Through Reeve's gifted writing, readers get to know what it was like to be part of the Lindbergh family. At last, we find out what has happened to the Lindbergh's since the kidnapping. Reeve described a bedside visit to her dying grandmother, when her father "administered communion to three generations (grandmother, Charles, Reeve) with malted milk tablets." Anecdotes such as this, plus an honest recollection of childhood years, make Under A Wing a good read.
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