Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pilot's Wife” as Want to Read:
The Pilot's Wife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pilot's Wife

(Fortune's Rocks #3)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  92,877 ratings  ·  4,546 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 30th 1999 by Back Bay Books (first published 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pilot's Wife, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kenda Nasuti No. They are stand alone. However it was neat while reading book 2 and 3 and the references to the house and who used to live there thru the years. I …moreNo. They are stand alone. However it was neat while reading book 2 and 3 and the references to the house and who used to live there thru the years. I do recommend reading the other ones! (less)
Vilanja "M at A's" (Number to Muire's friend)…more"M at A's" (Number to Muire's friend)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  92,877 ratings  ·  4,546 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Pilot's Wife
The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve is a 1999 Bay Back Books publication.

I read this book a long time ago, before I become a member of Goodreads and well before I started writing book reviews.
But, when I heard of Anita Shreve’s passing, this book came back to the forefront of my mind, as I recalled bits and pieces of it quite vividly.
Although I have so many books to review, with deadlines, no less, I couldn’t resist giving this book a second look.
This novel, when it was first released, benefite
Debbie Petersen Wolven
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 m
Aug 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: best-seller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 her life ...more
I’m afraid I didn’t feel any love for this. It dragged to begin with and virtually nothing happened for the first hundred pages. That wouldn’t have bothered me had the writing been inspired or the characters compelling. Unfortunately, for me, neither was the case. Katheryn, the wife who’s told her husband, the pilot, has died in an air crash, didn’t provide any of those exciting identification moments when you see something of yourself or a good friend eloquently arrested and made lucid. The sto ...more
She had a normal marriage. A good marriage. At least that is what she believed. “If you never suspected someone, she realized, you never thought to suspect.” There is beauty and eloquence in the portrayal of wife’s grief and betrayal in the aftermath of her husband’s death. Kathryn Lyons is woken up early one morning to learn that her husband, Jack, had just died in an airplane crash off the coast of Ireland. Jack was the pilot for the 104 crew and passengers on board. The union representative, ...more
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written novel that kept me interested until the last page. I really enjoyed the way it unfolded and the way things were revealed.
This is the second book by this author I have read and so far I have found them to be a pleasant experience, especially when I'm wanting a lighter read.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
I had read so many great things about this book, and I saw it in a used book store, so I bought it. I really didn't enjoy it. ...more
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book held my attention with twists & surprises although the ending was sudden.
The author describes the emotional turmoil of grief from the loss of a loved one realistically.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-and-romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn F.

I wish Melanie Griffith would have narrated other books because she does a fantastic job. Her voice is a little gritty and is just wonderful to listen to.

The story itself I really enjoyed but mentions of the (view spoiler) really date it. I was thinking, oh yeah, I remember there were problems with them in the 1990s. I just enjoyed the whole book front to back. 5 stars.
Coleen Guhl
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Cresta McGowan
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction'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
Daniel Balici
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
To leave, after all, was not the same as being left.

She considered the question. Odd, she thought, how intensely you knew a person, or thought, how you did, when you were in love - soaked, drenched in love - only to discover later that perhaps you didn't know that person quite as well as you had imagined. Or weren't quite as well known as you had hoped to be. In the beginning, a lover drank every word and gesture and then tried to hold on to that intensity for as long as possible. But inevitably
Jul 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
May 22, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Ms. B
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, adult, book_club, mystery
The premise was interesting. Kathryn's husband Jack was an airline pilot. When a plane crashes and he is blamed. What really happened? Who was Jack, was he really the man Kathryn thought she married?
I liked Part I as we get to know Kathryn and Jack's past. Then started to lose interest as the mystery unravels in Part II. Part III was more like an epilogue. (view spoiler)
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Abigail Hillinger
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lite-lit
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
Deborah Ideiosepius
This book was a firm reminder for me of why I regularly go 'off' mainstream modern fiction. While not a bad book the take home message for me was very 'meh'.

This is one that I think is old enough and well known enough that I do not have to worry about spoilers. Kathryn Lyons is home in New England one night when a late knock at the door startles her, it is a union representative there to tell her that her husband Jack's plane has been lost during a routine commercial flight.

The initial part of t
JG (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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: donate, fiction
Enjoyed the book. Fast read about a pilot with two lives who dies in an explosion on his plane and the surprising details of his involvement.

Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Anita Shreve 4 17 Oct 27, 2018 05:44PM  
Ending 7 612 Jul 25, 2018 05:36PM  
Looking for suggestions - Similar but more upbeat 4 54 Nov 26, 2016 09:59AM  
Fiction or nonfiction when reading for pleasure. 5 20 Nov 26, 2016 09:51AM  
Oprah's Book Club...: The Pilot's Wife 8 115 Oct 29, 2013 08:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where the Heart Is
  • Midwives
  • The Deep End of the Ocean (Cappadora Family, #1)
  • House of Sand and Fog
  • Deadly Decisions - A Natalie North Novel
  • Open House
  • She's Come Undone
  • Black and Blue
  • I Know This Much Is True
  • While I Was Gone
  • Tara Road
  • Jewel
  • Vinegar Hill
  • The Most Wanted
  • Drowning Ruth
  • Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes
  • Ellen Foster
  • Gap Creek
See similar books…
Anita Shreve was an American writer, chiefly known for her novels. Shreve's novels have sold millions of copies worldwide. She attended Tufts University and began writing while working as a high school teacher. One of her first published stories, Past the Island, Drifting, (published in 1975) was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1976. Among other jobs, Shreve spent three years working as a journalist ...more

Other books in the series

Fortune's Rocks (5 books)
  • Fortune's Rocks
  • Sea Glass
  • Body Surfing
  • The Fortune's Rocks Quartet

Related Articles

Who is Stella Bain? Injured near the front lines of World War I, an American woman awakes in France without her memory in this twisting historical...
34 likes · 4 comments
“To leave, after all, was not the same as being left.” 259 likes
“Sometimes, she thought, courage was simply a matter of putting one foot in front of another and not stopping.” 52 likes
More quotes…