Two Lives

Reeve Lind­bergh

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - PAIGE VAN DE WIN­KLE

Bri­g­an­tine Me­dia (MAY) Soft­cover $14.95 (136pp) 978-1-938406-70-6

Reeve Lind­bergh’s fam­ily was in the pub­lic eye again and again dur­ing the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. In her mem­oir Two Lives, she re­veals per­sonal mem­o­ries of her par­ents, the con­tro­ver­sial avi­a­tor-authors Charles A. and Anne Mor­row Lind­bergh. Through de­light­ful es­says on the nu­ances of car­ing for chick­ens and deal­ing with over­whelm­ing fam­ily archive, Lind­bergh skill­fully re­veals tidbits about what it was like grow­ing up in her fam­ily, while also con­fronting broader themes like death and mem­ory.

Ad­dress­ing her fam­ily’s con­tro­ver­sies is per­haps un­avoid­able, but Lind­bergh suc­cess­fully uses Two Lives pri­mar­ily as an ex­plo­ration of the sim­pler plea­sures of her life on a Ver­mont farm, like her fa­vorite rooster soup and her hus­band’s fas­ci­na­tion with trees. This makes for a sur­pris­ingly charm­ing mem­oir about cy­cles of time, the calm cer­tainty of death, and the joys of home cook­ing.

See­ing Charles Lind­bergh through his daugh­ter’s eyes is fas­ci­nat­ing. He is at once a dec­o­rated in­no­va­tor and some­one who failed out of col­lege. He is a fa­ther griev­ing his son’s grue­some death, and also some­one who se­cretly had mis­tresses and other chil­dren. Lind­bergh tells her story as only she could, re­main­ing acutely aware of her fam­ily’s faults, but also with a cer­tain un­con­di­tional warmth.

Though some top­ics may ap­pear in­nocu­ous, Lind­bergh uses them as jump­ing-off points to tell sto­ries packed with com­plex­ity. In one com­pelling chap­ter, “Rem­nants and Recipes,” she hints at her feel­ings to­wards her fa­ther, blam­ing him for the ad­di­tion of canned soup into her mother’s hearty recipes. Yet the ap­peal of the book is not just the Lind­bergh enigma, but also how Reeve rev­els in mem­o­ries of eat­ing “la­dy­like” lunches with her mother, or the nos­tal­gia and laugh­able dis­gust of find­ing odd recipes among her mother’s things.

The mem­oir shifts be­tween sub­jects quickly and seam­lessly, weav­ing the in­tensely per­sonal and the mun­dane with charm­ing fi­nesse. Two Lives is an en­gross­ing mem­oir.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.