Yvann S's Reviews > The Pilot's Wife

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
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's review
Apr 15, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2010

This was an Oprah’s Book Club choice and I’ve heard rumours of Anita Shreve writing “chick-lit”, so I didn’t really know how hefty this was going to be. A pilot’s wife receives the news that her husband’s plane has exploded and there are no survivors. She follows her grief and her daughter’s devastation through the suggestion that it was suicide and into the (entirely unexpected) conclusion.

I found this a struggle to read – it’s emotionally difficult and I loathe flying, planes and everything to do with them, so to read the story of the aftermath of a crash was harrowing – but enthralling. The characters are strongly rendered, the coastal countryside beautifully represented and the moves back and forth between the immediate aftermath of the crash and the history of the relationships are fluidly managed.

I was disappointed by the twist – I saw it coming a little faster than the wife did, but not quickly – but it seemed such a let-down in a good character. The developments then seemed a bit far-fetched, but certainly riveting and heart-gripping.

All in all, an engrossing read, fascinating characters, slightly disappointing plot (not from lack of suspense, but from lack of justice to the characters).

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