THE STEEP ASCENT by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
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The literature of flight has no more gifted contributor than Anne Morrow Lindbergh. To her has been given that rare quality of spiritual insight and the ability to translate it into words. Once again -- in this novelette -- she has successfully interpreted emotional experience in flight for her readers. More in the mood of her first books, -- Listen, the Wind and North to the Orient -- she has thinly veiled personal experience in the guise of fiction, and etched the pattern of flight over France, the Alps, Northern Italy in the story of a young couple, an English flier, and his wife, who is pregnant. One shares first the mother's last moment doubts and regrets as she faces last things, particularly the last evening with her five year old son. Then the spurt of fear as delays are exaggerated in her imagination. The take-off, the binding of earth and sky as they circle over their home; across the Channel, over France -- still at peace -- and suddenly, the shatteringly beautiful experience of the Alps, where Eve, whose dread evaporates with the actuality faced, finds instead exhiliration, exaltation, a deepened awareness of the meaning of life, -- her own, her contrast with the husband who understands (rather than protects -- a choice she had made herself), her oneness of life with the unborn child, a sharpening of all her senses. And then again, mounting fear, as they are blanketed in fog and cloud over Italy, and relief, as the plane drops gently to a reasonable ceiling -- and safety. Anne Lindbergh is first of all a poet her prose style has a rhythm tuned to the rhythm of flight. She is an aware, a sentient being -- her symbolism opens itself to wide interpretation, application. But the immediate value and appeal of the book lies not there, but rather in the spiritual message it carries for each reader.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1944
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace