Dear Mrs. Lindbergh
In 1987, Margaret and John Gutterson return to their family home in Iowa searching for clues to their aged parents’ mysterious disappearance. While rummaging in the attic, they discover an old metal milk box. Inside are copies of letters sent by their mother Ruth primarily to Mrs. Lindbergh, wife of Charles the famous aviator. As they read the letters, Margaret and John discover the story of their parents’ lives and the shared passion that brought them together and sustained them for fifty years.
Kathleen Hughes’ first novel is remarkable. About one-third of the story moves back and forth in time, but it does not distract the reader. In fact, it is just enough to sustain a tension that haunts the novel but never overwhelms it. The prose seems flat at first, like Iowa itself, but the reader discovers a subtle richness in character development, and it adds a reassuring rhythm and mood that creates a stunning contrast to the surprising ending. This wonderful novel captures, in emotion and detail, not only the early years of twentieth century aviation, but also a sense of the beauty of rural Iowa as a setting to a story of enduring love.