The Pilot's Wife
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The Pilot's Wife

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  58,815 ratings  ·  3,213 reviews
Who can guess what a woman will do when the unthinkable becomes her reality?

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 pass...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published March 30th 1999 by Back Bay Books (first published 1998)
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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!
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet
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
Kerry
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.
jill
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...more
Julie
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
Cresta
So...it'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...more
Kateri
Jul 13, 2008 Kateri rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
Em
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Michelle
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...more
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...more
Coffeeboss
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
Nicole
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
Coleen Guhl
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!
Kelly
Dec 01, 2008 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Cynthia
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
Adele
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bethhaber
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.
Diane
Gotta love the books that hit home on some levels. Loved the ending!
Natalie
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...more
Sonya
First time reading this author. I liked her style very much. Finished this book just as the news broke about the New York Govenor and his shameful, shameful involvement in a $$$ call girl ring. Just goes to show ya.....you never know!!!! I'm moving on to another book by her called "The weight of Water"

Cassey
I really like this author, but I never would pick the book up because it was an OBC. Silly of me, cuz this book is well written like all her other books..but it is probably my favorite of Shreve's. Read it!!
Lynn
Two spouses who lost their loved ones in a crash come together in the aftermath. Both thought they had perfect marriages. But is anything ever perfect? A powerful story, beautifully written. I recommend it heartily.
Jen
Jan 30, 2008 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women
I loved this book. You will not put it down. I wanted to kill her husband but he was already dead!
Linda Rowland
I am being a bit generous. Would give this two and a half stars if there were such a thing. At times I enjoyed reading it and wanted to get to the end quickly. At other times I just wanted to get to the end. Well written sentences, and then she writes "It was late, and Kathryn had no clue what time it was." And?
Being predictable or not realistic does not always make a bad book, as long as characters don't do things that make you go whaaa? so I may read another of her books. I pulled this off the...more
Kristin Maceroni
Anita Shreve writes my kind of prose: visually and emotionally charged with carefully and cleverly chosen words and metaphors to maximize its impact.

I relished the first half of this book, bathing in the thoughts and images with which Shreve graced her main character, Kathryn, a woman who has just learned that her husband, a pilot, has been killed in a plane crash. The author masterfully conveys Kathryn's struggles through the stages of grief, ripping the reader's heart open with Kathryn's ponde...more
Bree T
Kathryn thinks that life is pretty good. She’s married to the handsome pilot Jack, they have a good marriage and they have a wonderful 15yo daughter Mattie. They live in a beautiful house overlooking the ocean on the east coast of the US, their ‘dream house’. Jack is flying the Boston-Heathrow route which seems to make him happy and although there are long times apart, Kathryn is content.

Her world is blown apart when she receives a visitor at 3am with the news that her husband’s plane has explod...more
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
Mars Girl
I think some of the reviewers of this book (on goodreads) have been a little too harsh on this book. It really wasn't that bad. It's fiction--it supposed to be exciting. It does not need to be 100% true to life. My suspension of disbelief was maintained. But maybe I think men are scum and I could see a man trying this sort of thing...

Anyway, being a young widow myself, I found the descriptions of grief spot-on. I almost, however, crawled under my chair at the suggested love affair that was about...more
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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.” 171 likes
“Sometimes, she thought, courage was simply a matter of putting one foot in front of another and not stopping.” 41 likes
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