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The Pilot's Wife Hardcover – Large Print, Mar 1 2000

3.2 out of 5 stars 918 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, Mar 1 2000
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Charnwood (Large Print); Large type edition edition (March 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708991475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708991473
  • Shipping Weight: 789 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 918 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Amazon

Oprah Book Club® Selection, March 1999: With five novels to her credit, including the acclaimed The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve now offers a skillfully crafted exploration of the long reach of tragedy in The Pilot's Wife. News of Jack Lyons's fatal crash sends his wife into shock and emotional numbness:

Kathryn wished she could manage a coma. Instead, it seemed that quite the opposite had happened: She felt herself to be inside of a private weather system, one in which she was continuously tossed and buffeted by bits of news and information, sometimes chilled by thoughts of what lay immediately ahead, thawed by the kindness of others ... frequently drenched by memories that seemed to have no regard for circumstance or place, and then subjected to the nearly intolerable heat of reporters, photographers and curious on-lookers. It was a weather system with no logic, she had decided, no pattern, no progression, no form.
The situation becomes even more dire when the plane's black box is recovered, pinning responsibility for the crash on Jack. In an attempt to clear his name, Kathryn searches for any and all clues to the hours before the flight. Yet each discovery forces her to realize that she didn't know her husband of 16 years at all. Shreve's complex and highly convincing treatment of Kathryn's dilemma, coupled with intriguing minor characters and an expertly paced plot, makes The Pilot's Wife really take off. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

Reading Anita Shreve's novel, The Pilot's Wife, is like unraveling a thread. From the moment Kathryn Lyons answers the late-night knock at her door, she and the reader set upon a course that leads to a surprising revelation - that Kathryn's life is not what she thought it was....

Her search leads her not only to some answers, but to a realization - that the possibility is slim of ever fully knowing those we love, even those we love the most. -- BookPage, Laura Wexler, May 1998

Shreve's sixth novel tells us the story of Kathryn, whose husband, Jack, flies commercial aircraft. Their family, including 15-year-old Mattie, revolves around the schedules and demands of Jack's job....

Despite its dramatic theme, "The Pilot's Wife" is a bit flat and careful. Kathryn is the main problem. Shreve makes her an appealing believable woman, but one more acted upon than acting. Kathryn does indeed change, but not until so late in the narrative that our sense of her essentially remains static....

As always, Shreve has written an expert and highly readable book. It is a measure of her talent that her longtime readers expect even more. -- Rebecca Radner, San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 1998 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first advice, don't read this while travelling on an airplane. The descriptions and imagery are vivid. The characters compelling, sympathetic and realistic. There's a nice twist at the end that I didn't see coming. I enjoyed every page.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This thriller is a steady but suspenseful burner that relates on a happily married woman, Kathryn stricken after her pilot husband Jack dies in a plane crash just off the coast of Ireland. But here, the story is just beginning when she discovers Jack had led a secret life. Loving mysteries, I was drawn, as it poses lots of questions.

Shreve paints a convincing picture of how a blissful domestic life can a veneer an ugly truth. And the truth has been in plain sight all along. The only blindfold was Kathryn’s own idyllic oblivion as dutiful wife and mother. Jack’s long absences was the only blot.

But all is torn down when questions continue to arise over Jack’s death. Investigator, Roger from the Agency is assigned to find the truth. But things are messier than he had hoped.

The elegant writing style takes us on Kathryn’s tortuous emotional journey when another picture begins to emerge regarding Jack’s life. Cryptic scribbles on scraps of paper compel Kathryn to go outside of her familiar surroundings to encounter the real ‘Jack’. A particularly riveting part was when she goes to London to encounter Jack’s full betrayal. Despite having a daughter, Mattie and a supportive mother, Julia, Kathryn is ultimately alone.

The former wife-mother loses touch with herself. Who she really was in the marriage? This is a question many women may find themselves asking after many years of marriage.

Roger is never far away, a complex character, I was at times unsure of his motives. But I began to wonder if his ambiguity was a reflection of Kathryn’s state of mind or reality.

This isn’t a wham-bam type of thriller, although it really gathers momentum towards the ending. It feeds suspense in well-timed portions and is above all, believable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this last minute at the airport so I wouldn't be bored on the plane. It said it's a best seller, but don't be fooled by this (like me!). The story line is actually pretty interesting and has potential, but the actual story is not written well. The author goes into TOO much detail describing unnecessary things in the book and not enough of the actual story line. She even described at one point what size of jeans her daughter wears. Who cares? The focus should be on plot and character development. I was pretty disappointed.Save yourself time and watch Up in the Air instead with George Clooney.
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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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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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