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The Pilot's Wife (Oprah's Book Club) (edition 1999)

by Anita Shreve

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5,897None707 (3.34)71
Member:wendyrs
Title:The Pilot's Wife (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Anita Shreve
Info:Back Bay Books (1999), Edition: 1st trade ppr, Paperback, 283 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

adultery (83) American (29) betrayal (32) book club (16) chick lit (18) contemporary (21) contemporary fiction (54) death (41) deception (23) family (25) fiction (694) grief (77) infidelity (28) Ireland (19) literature (21) love (24) marriage (49) mystery (49) novel (83) Oprah (55) Oprah's Book Club (73) own (45) paperback (18) read (99) relationships (33) romance (33) secrets (16) to-read (64) unread (27) women (15)
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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
American airline pilot, Jack Lyons, is killed in a mid-air explosion off the coast of northern Ireland. When transportation investigators recover the aircraft's "black box," the press on both sides of the Atlantic have a field day. Did Lyons commit suicide, and take down over a hundred airline passengers with him? Was the fate of the flight caused by pilot error? Had he been irritated, depressed, or otherwise out of sorts when he left his New Hampshire home to fly his regular route? As the investigation unravels the facts behind the catastrophe, Lyons' widow, Kathryn, will have cause to wish the flight recorder had never been found. She will also have cause to wonder whom, exactly, she was married to sixteen years.

Spent a wintry Sunday engrossed in The Pilot's Wife and thoroughly enjoyed it. Story line is skillful and suspenseful; and the sense of coastal New Hampshire is lovely. Shreve is a quick, reliable escape read for me, and I appreciate her for that. ( )
1 vote lit_chick | Feb 10, 2014 |
This book was an unexpected pleasant surprise. From the moment I picked it up I could not put it down.The story was very compelling and sad. It follows Katherine a woman who learns that her pilot husband has died in a mysterious crash. A search for truth follows.
My first Anita Shreve book; there will be more. ( )
  AstridG | Feb 1, 2014 |
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve has been on my to-read shelf for a long time. I first read Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve back in high school and loved it. Shreve is able to write about twisted social issues and immoral romantic drama like no other. Don't let the fact that The Pilot's Wife is an Oprah's Book Club book put you off from reading it. Shreve is a masterful fiction writer who deserves the acclaim surrounding her books. She's accessible, detailed, and unique in her storytelling.

As I largely read and review YA books, I often find myself impatient to get through an adult novel. Thankfully, reading The Pilot's Wife was easy for me; I love her storytelling and the complicated lives she weaves for her characters. Shreve makes you feel invested in these characters. Kathryn could be anyone's sister, friend or neighbour. She's an ordinary wife who has a seemingly easy and happy marriage until someone knocks on her door and turns her world upside down. I was so absorbed in finding the answers to the mysteries of the plane crash and of Jack's final moments that I had no problems getting through this book.

The drama of the characters (the death of a loved one, a fractured family, adultery, having a secret life, a failing marriage, etc. ) is wrapped around the mysterious plane crash that killed Kathryn's husband and the other passengers on-board. Although this book was originally published in 1998, the horrific tragedy of September 11, 2001 has made plane-related accidents and words like "terrorists" strike hard with readers. The tragedy of that day makes the events of this book more real and therefore the book to be more powerful. I needed to know if this seemingly average and decent man could possibly be a terrorist; a word that is all too real to me.

The Pilot's Wife feels like a chick-lit/contemporary fiction hybrid, which is great for readers like me who don't have a lot of patience to withstand a heavy read. You get the complicated romance angle of chick lit, but it's wrapped up in something dark and grim. Don't look for a love-you-forever, standard happy ending. Shreve likes to write about love in its most complicated forms, usually in that love is never easy, it's never what you expect it to be, and often it means loving the wrong thing.

The narrative is fast-paced and is character-driven. The unknowns surrounding Jack and his final moments keep the reader wondering and wanting throughout the book. Moreover, Shreve addresses ugly [possible] realities like adultery and the loss of a spouse and father; subjects we do enjoy experiencing safely through a good book.

The Pilot's Wife makes for a great weekend read you won't want to put down. Looking for something with a little more shock-factor? Try Fortune's Rocks.

3.5 Stars ( )
  loveofreading | Feb 1, 2014 |
Do we ever/can we ever - really know someone? That is the question this book asks.
An interesting story. I had my suspicions early on that this might be the outcome. I was hoping it would be something more original.
Although I did like the book, I found it over-descriptive. A little too much for me. ( )
  ei214 | Dec 30, 2013 |
Was really into it up until the couple last plot twists. ( )
  MurphyJesus | Oct 1, 2013 |
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Book description
A pilot's wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door. But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plane flown by her husband Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time. Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumors that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost. Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question: How can we really ever know another person?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316601950, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, March 1999: With five novels to her credit, including the acclaimed The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve now offers a skillfully crafted exploration of the long reach of tragedy in The Pilot's Wife. News of Jack Lyons's fatal crash sends his wife into shock and emotional numbness:
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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:31 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After his plane explodes, a pilot's wife hears rumors that he led a secret life, and she decides to find out who her husband really was.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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