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The Pilot's Wife [Paperback]

Anita Shreve
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (912 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Are wives really that dumb and blind? June 26 2004
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I read it in one sitting June 3 2004
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An insipid story June 24 2004
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Review May 25 2004
By sarah
Award winning writer, Anita Shreve, does it again with A Pilot's Wife. She got the idea for the book from overhearing a pilot at a cocktail party talking about how the union always gets to the wife first when the plane goes down. It's their job to keep her from talking to the press. From this everyday small talk, Shreve put together another acclaimed novel.
This suspense/drama starts off full throttle with a knock at Kathryn's door. The man at the door (the union man) informs her of her husband's death. What little information is known suggests that Kathryn's husband, Jack, committed suicide, taking 103 others with him. She struggles to deal with his death and starts to investigate herself; for her sake as well as her daughter's. What she discovers causes her to question how well you can really know a person.
Shreve masterfully created a complex storyline that doesn't disappoint. It introduces a new type of suspense; one based more on emotional battles than fear. She explores the emotional struggles of a person who has lost a loved one in a tragic event and she does it in such a way that the reader is drawn into the struggle with them. She allows for the reader to experience firsthand the internal conflicts of such a tragedy, which makes for a more personal drama.
These elements keep the plot moving and the reader guessing, which makes The Pilot's Wife impossible to put down. It's the first novel that I've read in only a few days. I put off homework, television, and sleep all for the sake of reaching the conclusion. The end is well worth the commitment too. Shreve set up a wonderful plotline and finished it off even better. She gave enough foreshadowing to keep you guessing without a hint towards the grand finale. This novel that I had never heard of, by an author I had never heard of, makes me want to read all of Anita Shreve's novels.
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Having seen the book praised in the Oprah Book Club I purchased it a while later and have just completed it. Compared to books like richly detailed books like 'Songs in an Ordinary Time', the Pilots Wife is rather sparse and linear. Based on a dramatic discovery one night and subsequent revelations later, the story has its gripping moments which most women can identify with or atleast imagine it, namely a husband who has a secret life. Where I had a problem with the book was its rather pat ending. How can the protagonist trust again, having been betrayed by someone she knew for ten years? Is that a cynical view?
The gradual fading of intensity in a marriage is well brought out, but somehow I kept getting the feeling that Jack, the husband, is a rather unidimensional figure. Why doesnt he leave Kathryn when he loves another woman? The three words that I can probably describe Jack as are ( rather unredeemingly) - unfaithful, weak and insipid. Kathryn on the other hand, is more relatable, with her excuses of a fading sexual life in her marriage, her relationship with her ansty daughter and her acceptance of what she thought was inherently true, as both false and true.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Highly Improbable, Highly Annoying March 18 2004
It's a good thing I have read so many other Anita Shreve novels, because if this had been my first, popular TV book club selection or not, I would never have read another.
It's the old complacent-wife-doesn't-really-know-her-husband tired old plot, this time dressed up in a fancy plot. Kathryn's competent and serious airliner pilot husband Jack is the pilot of a plane that mysteriously explodes just off the Irish coast. There are no survivors.
As shell-shocked Kathryn struggles to come to terms with this horrendous and horrible news, and to shelter her teenaged daughter Maddy from the press and the whispers, rumors of pilot suicide almost break her. She knows that Jack would never commit suicide and kill 150 people along with himself--but what she doesn't know, and is soon to find out, is that Jack was not all that he seemed.
Yada yada yada. I was not impressed, I found no deep and life-altering meanings. Instead, I felt maniuplated by a progressively more silly plot line that left me, in the end, feeling that I had completey wasted my time. My advice: If you have any respect for Shreve as an author, as I do, forget she ever wrote this one. Her reputation remains intact without it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting read
My first advice, don't read this while travelling on an airplane. The descriptions and imagery are vivid. The characters compelling, sympathetic and realistic. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MysteryReader
3.0 out of 5 stars Faces readers with the ugly realities of life's unknowns
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. Read more
Published 7 months ago by aloveofreading
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing twists
Well written, page turner...had the entire book read in 2 days. Such a great story. Already looking for more books by this author.
Published 11 months ago by Kelly Lacey
2.0 out of 5 stars Very boring predictable read
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... Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2012 by amazonaddict
4.0 out of 5 stars How Well Do You Know Your Spouse?
The Pilot's Wife looks at that common subject of modern fiction, alienation that separates nonreligious from one another. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2008 by Donald Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Very absorbing
This was my introduction to Anita Shreve's books. I certainly loved it and went on to buy others. This is the gripping story of that infamous "knock at the door" and what happens... Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2007 by I LOVE BOOKS
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable but somewhat captivating
This novel is the perfect book to bring to the beach or on summer vacation. It is an easy read and holds the reader's attention. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Rachel Cash
3.0 out of 5 stars A Ride on an Emotional Roller Coaster
The Pilot's Wife was overall a good book. As a reader one experiences the ride of Kathryn's emotional roller coaster-the pain, sorrow, grief, anger, and resolution. Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Elise
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh! Please!
This book was so predictable that I could not stand it!!! Give me a break!
Published on May 16 2004 by snowblaze
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