Jan 27, 2012

Bring Me a Unicorn

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Letters and diary entries by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, spanning her college years up to the time she met and became engaged to Charles Lindbergh. It's been a while since I read any diaries, but Danielle has been discussing reading diaries lately, so I thought of this one when looking for my next TBR read. I was curious about it because in college I read quite a few books about Charles Lindbergh (I had to paint a portrait of him) it was quite interesting. Also I've recently read her inspirational book Gift of the Sea. So I was looking forward to this.

Bring Me a Unicorn didn't quite wow me, though. I suppose it's to be expected that her early diary entries will be unfocused, self-depreciatory, and lack the insights I hoped for. Most of the time I had no idea what people she was talking about, even when little footnotes informed me of their identity it really added nothing for me. Events passed in a blur. Lots of stuff is just alluded to, while she talks mostly about her emotional reactions to them (again, probably typical of a diary but not the best for reading, in my opinion). When she gets to the college years I did enjoy it more, hearing about the difficulties of classes and thrills of reading (her family was big on books). And when Lindbergh himself came into the picture, it was even more interesting to see how her family perceived him, how they came to be on friendly terms, how she experienced the repercussions of his fame, how she fell in love with flying (aviation in its early form seemed pretty frightening, to me!) etc. I liked seeing how her closeness to him developed as a friendship and feeling of being at ease, that's how I felt when I met my husband. I kept waiting to come across a passage describing a proposal, but instead she just at one point says Apparently I am going to marry Charles Lindbergh as if there was just no questioning it any longer. It made me laugh because that's how it was with me and my husband- we were very very good friends, completely comfortable with each other immediately, and just felt like we belonged together. Don't get me wrong, there was romance- and Anne Morrow certainly did plenty of mooning over him- but it wasn't mostly romance, it was mostly a strong friendship....

Aside from the relationship and seeing the figure of Lindbergh through her eyes, I also really like her descriptive passages. When she talks about visiting Mexico, travelling through the countryside, simple things like trees in a fog, birds flying over the sea, flowers in a garden, etc. it was so vivid I could see it. Her thrill and depictions of flying and viewing the landscape from up high- such a novel experience in her day- are sharp with excitement and joy.

Anyway, it turns out this is not a book I'm going to keep. I don't love it that much. But I am quite glad I read it. And I do want to read more of her diaries and other writings now.

rating: 3/5 ........ 259 pages, 1971

more opinions at:
Escaping Infinities
Gotta Have Vintage Books
anyone else?

2 comments:

Danielle said...

I'm looking forward to reading this myself even though it sounds a bit uneven. Maybe things will become more focused in the later diaries?

Jeane said...

That's what I think. Also why I want to read more of her diaries. I think there's four or five volumes?