The Pilot's Wife

The Pilot's Wife

3.8 276
by Anita Shreve
     
 

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Until now, Kathryn Lyons's life has been peaceful if unextraordinary: a satisfying job teaching high school in the New England mill town of her childhood; a picture-perfect home by the ocean; a precocious, independent-minded fifteen-year-old daughter; and a happy marriage whose occasional dull passages she attributes to the unavoidable deadening of time. As a pilot's… See more details below

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Overview

Until now, Kathryn Lyons's life has been peaceful if unextraordinary: a satisfying job teaching high school in the New England mill town of her childhood; a picture-perfect home by the ocean; a precocious, independent-minded fifteen-year-old daughter; and a happy marriage whose occasional dull passages she attributes to the unavoidable deadening of time. As a pilot's wife, Kathryn has learned to expect both intense exhilaration and long periods alone - but nothing has prepared her for the late-night knock that lets her know her husband has died in a crash. As Kathryn struggles with her grief, she descends into a maelstrom of publicity stirred up by the modern hunger for the details of tragedy. Even before the plane is located in waters off the Irish coast, the relentless scrutiny of her husband's life begins to bring a bizarre personal mystery into focus. Could there be any truth to the increasingly disturbing rumors that he had a secret life?

Editorial Reviews

Susan Hubbard
Compulsively readable...To create both sympathetic characters and an enticing plot is no small feat, but Shreve does it seamlessly.
Orlando Sentinel
Mike Snyder
An absorbing, inventive tale rendered in fine, original prose.
Houston Chronicle
Rebecca Radner
Highly readable...Shreve is extremely skillful at showing the stages by which someone learns to live with the unthinkable.
San Francisco Chronicle
Kate Callen
Kathryn's emotional quest is masterfully rendered...We go where Shreve leads because the writing is so sure.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Kirkus Reviews
Though sacrificing depth and credibility for speed, Shreve's sixth (The Weight of Water, 1997, etc.) is another suspenseful portrait of a modern marriage rent by betrayal and loss. After her pilot husband's plane blows up off the coast of Ireland, Kathryn discovers bit by bit how little she knew Jack Lyons. First, she faces a media frenzy when the flight recorder makes clear that Jack was carrying a bomb in his flight bag. Her illusions of a her so-called good marriage crumble, despite her belief in the love she and Jack had and the need to keep Jack's memory pure for teenage daughter Mattie. As she navigates the dark days with the priest-like assistance of Robert, the pilot union's grievance expert, Kathryn increasingly feels compelled to come to grips with Jack's hidden life. Following up on a phone number she discovers among his papers, she and Robert go to London, where she finds Jack's other family: Muire, an unrepentant Irish beauty and former flight attendant, and her two young children. By now the plot is fairly screaming IRA bombers!, but instead of guns and M15 surveillance teams we get Kathryn's long, sad walk in the rain and an attempt at consolation by a now-doting Robert. The next morning, Kathryn, still lagging two beats behind the reader, has the whole thing explained to her at breakfast by a remorseful Muire, who's now forced to go on the run. Then Kathryn's staggered by Robert's revelation that he didn't come along just to keep her company but that he's part of the investigation (though he makes no move to detain Muire). Kathryn sulks, but by story's end Robert is back in her good graces, his seeming betrayal well on its way to being forgotten. An evocativebut obvious thriller, rather like a domesticated Patricia Highsmith, that keeps you reading — even as you're regretting the opportunities for intrigue and angst that the narrative consistently ignores.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316025676
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
07/31/2007
Series:
Oprah's Book Club Series
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
26,333
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Rosellen Brown
Plunges us into the best kind of mystery, deep and interior.

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