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The Pilot's Wife (Oprah's Book Club) Paperback – Bargain Price, March 31, 1999
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Kathryn wished she could manage a coma. Instead, it seemed that quite the opposite had happened: She felt herself to be inside of a private weather system, one in which she was continuously tossed and buffeted by bits of news and information, sometimes chilled by thoughts of what lay immediately ahead, thawed by the kindness of others ... frequently drenched by memories that seemed to have no regard for circumstance or place, and then subjected to the nearly intolerable heat of reporters, photographers and curious on-lookers. It was a weather system with no logic, she had decided, no pattern, no progression, no form.The situation becomes even more dire when the plane's black box is recovered, pinning responsibility for the crash on Jack. In an attempt to clear his name, Kathryn searches for any and all clues to the hours before the flight. Yet each discovery forces her to realize that she didn't know her husband of 16 years at all. Shreve's complex and highly convincing treatment of Kathryn's dilemma, coupled with intriguing minor characters and an expertly paced plot, makes The Pilot's Wife really take off.
Reading Anita Shreve's novel, The Pilot's Wife, is like unraveling a thread. From the moment Kathryn Lyons answers the late-night knock at her door, she and the reader set upon a course that leads to a surprising revelation - that Kathryn's life is not what she thought it was....
Her search leads her not only to some answers, but to a realization - that the possibility is slim of ever fully knowing those we love, even those we love the most. -- BookPage, Laura Wexler, May 1998
Top Customer Reviews
Already struggling with grief, Kathryn is stunned by the incessant questions about Jack, their marriage, and even Mattie's personal life. Rumors abound that Jack lived a secret life. Soon the media accuses Jack of pilot error and the flight investigators believe he committed suicide. After finding some inexplicable notes in their home, Kathryn is unable to sit idle as her past and her spouse seem to have their history rewritten so she begins her own inquiries. As she searches into Jack's past with the help of union official Robert Hart, Kathryn wonders exactly who her husband truly was?
THE PILOT'S WIFE is an SST-paced story line that takes the reader along for an intriguing ride. Kathryn is an interesting character struggling with what she learns about the husband she never knew. Robert adds little to the plot beyond informing the widow of the tragedy. He adds an unnecessary betrayal and romantic subplot that takes the audience on a inclement weather detour. However, when Ann Shreve's novel stays with Kathryn's revelations about Jack, the story becomes a great thriller worth reading.
It is a quick read as well as an engrossing one. Though the book doesn't stir up lots of debates like Oprah's other selections, the topic of adultery still hits too close to home. However, it is interesting to see how Kathryn deals with it during her grieving process and comes to the realization that none of us really know another person. This book may sound depressing, but it really isn't. You have to read between the lines to see that there is a gift of hope that Anita was trying to share with her readers as you grow along with Kathryn on her journey.
The first half of the book, which deals with Kathryn's attempts to come to terms with her grief, aided by her teenage daughter Mattie, her grandmother Julia and Robert, an official from the pilots' trade union, is rather slow-moving. In the second half, however, after Kathryn travels to London from her home in New England, discoveries start to come thick and fast. Although there is a single coherent narrative, the difference in tone between the two halves makes this read like parts of two separate novels, the first a psychological character study and the second a political thriller, clumsily glued together to form a single work. Unfortunately, I found neither part interesting. The opening chapters were simply boring and the later ones were full of so many improbabilities and plot-holes as to make the entire book lack credibility.
I do not want to give away all the many twists that the plot goes through, but I can say that they all relate to the discoveries which Kathryn makes about Jack's secret life. He has, for example, always led Kathryn to believe that his mother is dead, whereas in fact she is still alive and living in a nursing-home. The book's main weakness is that the most potentially interesting character is Jack himself, but he is dead.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a very unexpected twist which developed by surprise and made the story more interesting.Published 5 days ago by romy
Love how Anita Shreveport weaves a tail so intimate to the readers soulPublished 22 days ago by Pianophingers
Not my favorite Shreve book, it's very predictable and a wee bit boring... a romance novel. A long, slow read.Published 1 month ago by Justareader
The plot was very obvious. The story was dragged out. However, my sister recommended it to me and absolutely loved it.Published 2 months ago by Estella
Interesting and though predictable at times there were some suspenseful parts. The characters were deep and complex. Some of the story line was a bit implausible.Published 3 months ago by Rita G. Finn
I had not read Anita Shreve for more than 10 years. I always enjoyed her other books and read this on a recommendation of a friend. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Barbara Kenney