Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Book Review: Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead

Anne Lindbergh was only 23 when she wrote the letters and diary entries found in Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead. I was impressed that, while she was still so youthful, she was also extremely literate. She writes to her family with amazing candor about "celebrity" and being followed by the media of the day. She touches upon her fears about motherhood, and in a section that is very poignent, she frets to her mother over the safety of her little son.

Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead is the second in a series of 5 books containing Anne Morrow Lindbergh's personal letters and diaries. I didn't realize that when I picked it up, but it stands alone, and was an enjoyable and thoughtful read. This book covers the period of 1929-1932, during which Anne married Charles Lindbergh, gave birth to their first child, and flew to the Orient with C.L.

But the Hour of Lead is the most riveting section, detailing the infamous "Lindbergh kidnapping" and the death of the Lindbergh's first son.

Anne was pregnant with her second son when little Charlie disappeared. As we know from history, after ten weeks of negotiations with kidnappers, the boy's body was found not far from their home. He had been killed the first day.

The book caused me to reflect upon my own grandparents, who also lost a child when my grandmother was carrying my mother. They never found out what happened to the boy that they lost, it is generally thought that he drowned, and I don't believe that either my Grandpa or Grandma really recovered from it.

Anne Lindbergh expressed her concerns that she would not be able to feel for the second child what she had for the first, that she would be always comparing the two. I wonder if this is how my grandmother felt. My grandmother's family was thousands of miles away in a time when travel was not easily available. Anne Lindbergh was blessed to have the close and loving support of her family, which greatly comforted her.

This book affected me in that it caused me to think about others, and to look at my grandmother (who was difficult, to say the least) with a different eye...perhaps a more sympathetic one.

Overall, a good read. I recommend it and am looking forward to reading North to the Orient, the chronicles of Anne and Charles Lindbergh's 1931 trip to Alaska, Russia, China, and Japan.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that connection to your own history was interesting and must have been thought provoking. I am not familiar with this title~ have only read her _Gift from the Sea_. _North to the Orient_ sounds like it would be an interesting read, too. I love the way Anne writes. She expresses deep thoughts, but makes them seem simple rather than complicated.