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The Pilot's Wife

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  73,334 Ratings  ·  3,665 Reviews
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 h ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Debbie Petersen
Another bomb from Shreve. Her husband had a secret life...blah blah blah. She can't confront her grief and betrayal over finding this out, because he is dead. Then the usual fairy-tale ending for books of this genre...while Kathryn is grief-stricken, unkempt and unshowered and at her blubbery worst, a gorgeous guy is right there to fall madly in love with her! Yes, this happens *all* the time!
Aug 01, 2008 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-seller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2007 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could be a quick read but is sometimes painful & I would have to put it down until I could read and savor a passage or two at a better time. I often read during lunch break at work & some books simply aren't meant to be read in an office setting - this is one of them. Kathryn, the pilot's wife, is so well written - you not only feel what she feels, you eventually know what she will feel before it is written for you. No doubt this is because I could be the pilot's wife; I could live ...more
Oct 18, 2008 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an airport "argh, I need something to read on a 4 hour flight" impulse buy. Since everything at the airport shop seemed to be on Oprah's list, there was no avoiding it. I don't know what is more annoying about this book, the supposed idylic settinig of New England, or the preposterous misunderstanding of the IRA. The whole thing is implausible, unless the protaginist is a major idiot... Oh, maybe that is not that big of an assumption.
Jul 12, 2008 jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shreve did a good job capturing the main character's grief and confusion, but the book just didn't hold my interest. It was kind of boring in the first two thirds, and then when the main character travelled to England and discovered the "twists," it just seemed kind of silly.
I was also annoyed by the main character falling in love with the union rep. I get that people bond under intense circumstances, but I hate that falling in love seems to be the go to literary reaction. There are other ways
This is my third Anita Shreve book and I am not sure if I am going to read any more of them. For the most part I enjoy her writing and her stories, but the endings are sometimes unbearable. Anyway, this book was another Oprah book. It was pretty short and I got through it very quickly. Plot summary: The wife of a pilot learns that her husband's plane has gone down and that he is dead. While dealing with all the initial shock as well as dealing with the grief of their 15 year old daughter, she le ...more
Coleen Guhl
Sep 09, 2012 Coleen Guhl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Amazing book, there are many twists and turns that keep you interested and on your toes. I love the author's writing style. Again, this I read in two evenings; so you know it was good!
Jul 13, 2008 Kateri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!!!
Shelves: new-fiction
I have no idea how I ended up owning this book, but I decided it would be a quick read on the plane. It was quick... but every second of the three hours was painful. The book suffered from multiple personalities. The first half was all grieving (fitting for a self help book), the second half attempted to bring in some more mystery and intrigue. Unfortunately the mystery involved was the "pilot" having an affair,,, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has worked in the airline industry. The l ...more
Jun 25, 2010 Em rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-and-romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got a great book from my friend, Kathran for Christmas, and I just finished reading it... The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve.

Shreve is a great writer... I love her language and use of words. I'm such a lover of language and the ways in which it can be swirled and whirled and encircle your mind making you want to read the same sentence over and over. Shreve is excellent at this task.

She makes you think. And I like thinking.

Right from the second page of the book she sets the essence of the whole b
JG (The Introverted Reader)
The Pilot's Wife in a nutshell: Jack Lyons, a commercial pilot, is flying a plane when it explodes. The book follows the grieving process of his widow, as she tries to figure out what happened in that plane. The overriding question in the book is "How well can we ever really know someone else?"

There wasn't anything really wrong with the book, it was just overly gray for my taste. I don't think the sun shines in the entire book. It was solidly written though, and it did keep me turning pages. I d
Jan 17, 2008 Coffeeboss rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An airliner explodes over the Atlantic, and at home the wife of the pilot is left to pick up her own life, as well as deal with the implications that her husband may have caused the disaster. This book didn't grab me on many levels, and by the end, I felt a bit hostile towards it. The big revelations that are unearthed seem a bit preposterous and convenient, and the fact that her husband has personal secrets from his wife... well, you could have seen that coming. I didn't feel emotionally involv ...more
Jan 17, 2015 Cresta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-girly-reads's probably quite obvious that I'm back at work. I was averaging a book a week and now, three weeks have passed with no new reviews. A few people have even contacted me (which I loved) about what I was reading now. Sorry folks, the whole having to get up early to teach the children how to read is interrupting my own leisurely reading time. I'm hoping once the haze of the beginning lifts, I'll be able to get back into a better reading routing. For now, once or twice a month is probably our ...more
Abigail Hillinger
This was chick-lit in disguise. I feel dirty and tricked.

Although I probably am being harsh by giving it two stars, I don't really see too many good things about this book. The bits where Kathryn are at her house are far too dragged out. Shreve relies only on the 'feel' sensory to explain what her character is going through, rather than the 'show'. The important parts where things could have been really interesting--such as the funeral or the first Christmas without Jack--are glossed over and ba
Apr 22, 2008 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand what all the hype was about with this book. I think Shreve's writing is pretty good - no complaints there - but the pace of this book is all over the place. It's very slow to start, to the point where I wanted to just give up on it, and then the last 2-3 chapters rush to wrap eeverything up into a neat package. The plot was pretty good, a bit "Lifetime movie" for my tastes, but decent enough. If the pace had been a bit more consistent, I probably would have given this 3 stars. ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pilot's wives, wives in general, women
I really liked this book more than I thought I would. The reviews I had read (on Amazon, I think) all seemed disappointed and felt that Shreve ended the book prematurely. In this case, I think it was a perfectly fine place to end it. You can guess how the story would continue after all is said and done. You know there might end up being a friendship. You know there probably will be a relationship. Since you know what will probably happen, it's okay.

I actually found myself bored in the beginning
Nov 18, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Time Travelers Wife, Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, and now the Pilot's Wife. Unintentionally my small collection on Goodreads has a very common theme!

Out of the three recently read- The Pilot's Wife is certainly my favorite. I was visiting my parents last weekend and picked this off of the top of a stack in their laundry room. I don't usually commit to a book without knowing more about it or hearing a recommendation but I'm really glad that I did!

I think its the most well written and you imm
This is the second Anita Shreve book I've read. I like how the author writes and describes the scenes and emotions. The flaskbacks of her early family life were partically good. Her tone impresses me, although Sea Glass seemed to flow a little better. I was hooked in the beginning and I felt Kathryn's pain. That half of the book I felt was written well but when Shreve attempts the different plot twists during the second half of the book, I lost interest. Which is sad, because those plot twists a ...more
May 30, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
The Good: Anita Shreve writes well and he books never fail to suck you in, even if you aren't loving where the story is going.

The Bad: This was a depressing book with a unrealistic ending. To throw some romance in at the end, as if Kathryn would been remotely stable enough at that point in her life for anything to work out, is ludicrous. She's obviously obsessive about the husband, not able to let go of this "secret" even though he's dead and she should just mourn and move on.
Mar 28, 2009 Adele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I never imagined that I would be interested in a book about men and their secret families. But after the heroine's husband is killed when his plane explodes, her search to understand her life with her husband is fascinating, since it is not the life that she thought that she was living.

Check this book out if you like to see women rise above their circumstances or if you're interested in an insider's experience of finding out that her life is a lie.
Feb 03, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gotta love the books that hit home on some levels. Loved the ending!
Sep 07, 2016 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read: February 2016
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I really enjoyed this story and looking through the top reviews I’m surprised to see so many one and two star ratings. The story focuses on Kathryn; a teacher in her mid-thirties with a teenage daughter and a much older, charismatic husband named Jack. At the start of the book Kathryn receives the news that the airplane Jack was piloting crashed just off the coast of Ireland, and from there the plot centres on how Kathryn struggles to grieve and come to term
Sam Woodfield
I thought this book was OK but thats about as good as it was. There was something lacking from this which stopped it being an excellent novel, which I think it had the potential to be. The climax of the novel was short lived and not therefore didnt develop the plot as much as it should done and it really was a long time coming. I also think the use of 'she' throughout made me quite detatched from the characters meaning I didnt really feel any emotion in relation to their plight which I really sh ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Elise,
You asked your goodreads friends to be less lazy. Be warned this book review will contain no less than three (Quite possibly more!) grammatical errors,scoldin', unbridled opinionatin' and spoilers. This is a very bad book, (Bad BOOK! BAD,BAD BOOK!) with a fairly intriguing premise. It is about a pilot's wife. I know, Elise, you are shocked! His plane crashes and it is about the unraveling of how and why his plane crashed. It is not at all a thriller which makes the introduction of a p
Feb 27, 2016 Vrsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It hits you ever so suddenly, that life itself can be so can change any moment. Suprising to know that you fall into a blissful sleep only to be jerked rudely awake one fine day to find your life completely fallen apart. Thus is the strangeness of life - change is the only constant. One moment you bask in the comfort of normalcy, next moment you realise you couldn't have been more wrong. This story is an eye-opener to all of us fools around. However, the human mind is a funny thing ...more
April Hochstrasser
I don't think I've ever given a #1 to a book before. It's too bad, because the plot was fairly solid, a pilot's wife finds out after his death that he had another family in England and was also a smuggler for the Irish Republic. However, I had to keep skimming the verbose detail about the day and the flowers and the sun and the look in someone's eye and on and on. The story should have been cut by at least half, the rest was filler. But I did want to find out what happened so I actually read thi ...more
Oct 16, 2016 Pequete rated it it was ok
Shelves: meus-libertados
I have no idea why, but I was really convinced the story was set in World War II. After reading A Bridge too Far, I was in the mood for a fictional read in this setting, but it turned out this book was nothing of the sort. The pilot is a commercial pilot and *** spoiler ahead *** the whole book is about his wife, as she unfolds the secret life of her husband after he dies in a plane crash. The writing is nothing special, the story either, at times it is even not very convincing. And it was certa ...more
I actually read this book quite a few years ago but have been trying to update my "read" books.
I have read a few books by Anita Shreve and for the most part I enjoy her writing and her stories.
She did a good job of showing Kathryn's grief and confusion making the reader feel as though this is something that they could be going through themselves.
However, at times the plot seemed somewhat confusing and undeveloped. Some confusion and questions that didn't seem as though there were fully answere
Oct 24, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
As the wife of an airline pilot, Kathryn Lyons understands the importance of being prepared for every eventuality that life presents to her. That includes everything from moving fairly frequently; to long periods of separation due to her husband's flight schedule; to the inevitable late-night knock at the door that every pilot's wife dreads. Yet when Kathryn receives such a knock: carrying word that the plane flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded somewhere off the coast of Ireland, she must c ...more
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The Cover Girls B...: March 2015 - The Pilot's Wife 2 6 Apr 19, 2016 05:17AM  
Looking for suggestions - Similar but more upbeat 3 37 Jun 03, 2015 02:12PM  
Fiction or nonfiction when reading for pleasure. 4 17 Mar 08, 2014 01:41PM  
Oprah's Book Club...: The Pilot's Wife 8 96 Oct 29, 2013 08:46AM  
Ending 5 349 Dec 31, 2012 02:16PM  
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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A ...more
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“To leave, after all, was not the same as being left.” 228 likes
“Sometimes, she thought, courage was simply a matter of putting one foot in front of another and not stopping.” 51 likes
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