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The Pilot's Wife [Paperback]

Anita Shreve
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (911 customer reviews)

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Hardcover CDN $25.83  
Paperback CDN $12.27  
Paperback, 2001 --  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $17.64  
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Are wives really that dumb and blind? June 26 2004
Format:Paperback
This would have been a better book if the protagonist (the pilot's wife) wasn't so unbelievably stupid. She and her husband essentially lead separate lives, for years. This is because of his job as a pilot (supposedly). She just goes with the flow and never stops to think if things should really be THAT separate. So....She is easily deceived on a consistent basis, and for a long period of time...yet was totally surprised when the truth was revealed after her husband dies. Real, average women aren't that stupid.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing twists Sept. 28 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, page turner...had the entire book read in 2 days. Such a great story. Already looking for more books by this author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very boring predictable read Aug. 8 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I kind of knew what I was getting myself into considering the less than stellar reviews, but as an advanced reader, I found this book to be so boring, I skipped over most of it and only read the dilaouge. The first 3/4 of the book dragged on, and the last few chapters where the only interesting ones, and even those were disapointing. The end felt rushed and the story was quiet unbeleivable. I was surprised this made it on Oprah's list because it played out like a bad romance novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story of mystery, character & strength Dec 6 2001
Format:Paperback
Although this book is sad in the beginning, I felt an immediate identification with the protanganist, and watched her strength grow as she dealt with the mystery of her husband's plane crash and unknown secrets. The character grows through her grief, and by the time the book ends you feel like you've grown to know a good friend. I bought this book for weekend reading, but I had to finish it in one night!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An insipid story June 24 2004
Format:Paperback
While reading Shreve's work, I felt as if I was watching a bad made-for-TV-movie. The plot is quite trite and the prose a bore. It is a quick read, though, for anyone who has bought this book, it should be regarded as a sunk cost and quickly cast aside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I read it in one sitting June 3 2004
By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Pilot's Wife is an insightful tale of loss and betrayal. As the story opens, Kathryn, a pilot's wife, has been told that her husband's plane has crashed and there are no survivors. We follow Kathryn into the numbing, silent, surreal world known to those who suffer loss. Memories of her happy marriage engulf her and paralyze her, but she begins to cope with the help of a kind man from the pilot's union. In the second half of the book, Kathryn pieces together clues left by her husband that lead to shocking revelations about him, and eventually, the healing process begins.
The first half of the book was an accurate picture of one in the grieving process; unfortunately, it was too long and became somewhat tedious. The second half, however, was very exciting, and I could hardly turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen next. The climax is quite satisfying and made me glad I stuck with it and finished the book.
The Pilot's Wife would make an excellent movie, with lots of romance, tragedy and intrigue. If you like stories that are full of surprises, you'll enjoy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How Well Do You Know Your Spouse? Jan. 3 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Pilot's Wife looks at that common subject of modern fiction, alienation that separates nonreligious from one another. Of course, many people feel like they are married to (or living with) a soul mate who is closely bonded into an understanding symbiosis of two. About half the time, someone must be wrong in that belief because about half of all marriages (and more than that of live-in relationships) hit the rocks.

Anita Shreve chooses an unusual way to display the reality of alienation, by having one spouse die while the other is presented with a mystery about what the other person was thinking and doing. Do spouses keep secrets from one another? Sure. In this case, the secrets undermine the sense of security that heroine Kathryn Lyons used to have in her marriage.

The story opens with the kind of situation that Stephen King so likes to present, Kathryn is awakened by knocking on the door in the middle of the night while her husband is away flying commercially for a major airline. She reluctantly opens the door to be greeted by Robert Hart, from her husband's union, to tell her husband's plane has been lost. Within seconds, she is in the middle of a public relations maelstrom as the media begin their feeding frenzy to show the public horror-stricken grief. Kathryn has to remain strong; she still has a daughter at home to protect.

As the nightmare becomes increasingly real, Ms. Shreve drops other nasty surprises into Kathryn's lap until she's so weighed down by the weight of adversity that she can barely move. Each time she thinks it is as bad as it can get, it gets worse.

The plot in this story is quite strong, giving us a chance to get to know who Kathryn is. From that point of view, the book is very successful.
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