At the center of Against Wind and Tide, is her relationship with Charles. Her correspondence with her husband gives evidence of her love for him, but also of her resentment at his long absences from her, as he pursued his vocation as a director of Pan American Airlines, and as a consultant in the area of conservation and the preservation of the earth. Often, too often she did not know where he was, and family crises were handled by AML alone. Letters might begin: "Charles, where are you now?"
Not to give things away about the book, it is also a documentation of some of her secrets. The main secret was that she deeply loved her physician Dr. Dana Atchley, who provided her with many years of consolation. No evidence of a torrid physical affair surfaces. She does not write in this book anything that deals with the affairs of her husband, which produced several children whom he supported. With his own children, he could be harsh and demanding, and it was Anne who was able to moderate the negative feelings his children might have had due to his unforgiving ways.
Since this volume is written by a woman, some may say that it is just for women. My experience as I read the entire book, is that it has significance for males also. Here in her rather simple prose, her investigation reveals insights for women and men. For AML, life was eased by her wealth. Her books sold well, and Gift from the Sea still is in print. Her husband was also financially well off, but the car mentioned in the book is unfailingly a VW.
Marriage is a complex relationship in all its forms. Mrs. Lindbergh puts the magnifying glass of her vision upon these complexities, while still preserving a love for her ever traveling husband.
Finally, for those interested in the spiritual life of writers, AML does set forth some of her beliefs. She was not conventionally religious, but did have a vision of a god beyond and above her personal history. She evidently enjoyed the Bible passages she had learned as a child, and she provided memorable Christmases with a manger scene and carols, all for her family. She prayed in a small country chapel when Charles lay dying.
Her star might have set a bit, and surely she is not as famous as she was decades ago. She not only comments (in her famous book) on gifts from the sea, and the beauty of seashells, but on the beauty and complexity, joys and sorrows of her life and ours.
Posey is a retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister who lives in Charleston.