These days not many people are familiar with the work of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. During her life (she died in 2001) she was most famous for her relationship with her husband, pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly between New York and Paris, to cross the Atlantic solo. There was also much publicity and notoriety about her firstborn’s kidnapping and murder in 1932.
Against Wind & Tidebegins with Anne roiling with the news that she is pregnant for the seventh time. She’s in her forties and her whole spirit rebels against another pregnancy. Yet, unless she has a physical reason for an abortion, she does not feel that can be an option. Much of the book is about motherhood. Charles once asked Anne what she believed the most important relationship in life to be—he said between husband and wife--but Anne said the relationship between mother and child was paramount. However, even as a rich woman who could afford a housekeeper and a cook, she often felt divided between parenting demands and her own writing. Yet what a wonderful mother her letters show her to be. She relates to each child differently, extremely aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses, and always encouraging each to be his or her best.
Anne was an amazingly gifted writer and though she wrote extended book-length essays and fiction, she excelled at detailing the personal struggles and explorations of an individual. She did that throughout the 20th century. Anne’s writing is deeply contemplative. She does not skim the surface of life but burrows into it both seeking and answering some of the hard questions. Read more »