The Pilot's Wife: A Novel by Anita ShreveThe Pilot's Wife: A Novel by Anita Shreve

The Pilot's Wife: A Novel

byAnita Shreve

Paperback | March 30, 1999

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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 plan 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 movingly explores the question, How well can we ever really know another person?
Anita Shreve is the critically acclaimed author of twelve previous books, includingA Wedding in December, The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oparh's Book Club, andThe Weight of Water,which was a finalist for England's Orange Prize. She Lives in Massachusetts.
Title:The Pilot's Wife: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.75 × 1 inPublished:March 30, 1999Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316601950

ISBN - 13:9780316601955

Appropriate for ages: 13

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I loved it! It kept me very interested the whole way through with all the twists and turns that always surprised me!
Date published: 2011-05-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A husbands deception... I enjoyed the idea of this novel better than I actually enjoyed this novel. I found the storyline intriguing, but it wasn't as gripping as I was hoping for. That being said, it has been over 10 years since I read this book, and I can still recall even the minor details in the story. For a really excellent book, with a similar storyline, try "The Attack" by Yasmina Kadra.
Date published: 2011-03-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not That Great Definitely not one of Anita Shreve's better novels.
Date published: 2010-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Secret Life This was a surprising book. Overall, I liked it. She addresses a social issue that I'm sure will be coming to a court near you, in the not too distant future. She seems almost sympathetic to the cause, even though it comes at great personal expense to the character. I'd say what it is, but that would spoil the story. A woman's husband dies in a plane crash. Evidence suggests he had a hand in the crash. This leads her to investigate. The book is well written, with a telling look at the process of grieving. The author also tells the sections of the woman's memories of her husband in the present tense, as if she were re-living them, with the benefit of hindsight to help her decipher the clues that she had been blind to, previously. I suppose the take-away message is meant to be that you can never truly know that you know someone, but I disagree. I've seen that this book has been made into a movie, so I wanted to read it first, so I could compare.
Date published: 2008-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining I read this book in the airport and on the plane, I was hoping my boyfriend would be late to pick me up because I was so into it. A wonderful story , not entirely believable but thoroughly entertaining!!!
Date published: 2008-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing. this book intrigued me from the first chapter. its an easy read, a nice book to cuddle up into bed with. from start to finish i could not put the book down. i have read it three times over the past 10 months, and i will probably read it again and again. overall, i think this book is fantastic, and there are lessons learned through out the novel.
Date published: 2008-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great Garage Sale find! I found this book one weekend after finding another Anita Shreve book at a garage sale. The book I first read was called Fortunes Rocks which ironically is the setting for this book too! I loved the first Shreve book, had never even heard of her before! A week later when I found the Pilot's Wife, I was so happy and read it in a day! I'm starting to think Oprah has some good picks as I've by chance read some great books that were endorsed by her book club. This book was an interesting page turner. I highly reccomend it. I will be perusing Chapters for more Anita Shreve books. It is so rare you buy a great book at a garage sale.
Date published: 2006-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book It was like a T.V. movie. It sort of keeps your attention, but ultimately, it was just a way to kill a few hours. I thought the Robert character was entirely weird, even creepy. Who would want a stranger hanging out with your family, day after day, when you're mourning the death of your husband?
Date published: 2006-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Good Well when I read this book I didn't expect it to be much good since I'm not into the mushy love stories but it was just so well done that I actually loved it! It's an amazing book for those that love the mushy love story and for those a little hesitant.
Date published: 2006-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great novel filled with emotions! One of my favorites, you get into the story and can't believe what is going on right infront of your eyes, you won't regret reading this book.
Date published: 2006-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How well can you ever really know someone? Unlike many of Oprah's other picks, this book was neither completely sad, nor controversial. I would recommend this book as a page turner, the story unfolds with cliffhangers at each chapter's end. You won't be able to put it down. It really does make you wonder how well you can ever really know a person. Enjoy.
Date published: 2006-05-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unbelievable Shreve does one thing well in this book - she describes scenery so well that in many instances I could so vividly imagine what she was describing that I felt I was there with her. The rest of the book both horrified me and bored me. The romance was unbelievable and strange, her mourning process was unbelievable and had far too much detail (boring), and her plot was weak and, yes, unbelievable. This book was basically a waste of my time. I will give Shreve a chance and read one of her other novels but I sure hope it will be better than this one.
Date published: 2006-03-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Started good, ended bad. The only reason I picked up this book was because it was recommended by Oprah's book club. The first half of the book was well written and very emotional. The author described the mother's and daughters feelings towards one another well but the second half of the book was unrealistic and I didn't even feel like finishing the book when I found out about the pilot's secret life. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2005-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I loved this book- the detail is stunning and the writing beautiful. This story grabs you and keeps you until the final page!
Date published: 2002-11-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tired This book drew me in on the first page and let me go on the second. Basically, nothing from the 2nd page until about 100 pages into the book. This was extremely slow paced with little, if any, action ever taking place. How realistic is this scenario?! Not at all! This book was a waste of time and money and i would not recommend this book to ANYONE!!
Date published: 2002-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Easy Read The Pilot's Wife is a leisurely read. The narration is simple and easy to follow, but at times can get a bit too simplistic. Despite the occasionally weak voice, however, the storyline is compelling and keeps the reader engrossed. There are aspects of the tale that are predictable, but other parts of the novel come as a complete surprise. All in all, a rather good book to sit back and relax with.
Date published: 2001-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife This book grabs your attention from the opening sequence and doesn't let go until the final captivating chapter.There have been many tales of pilots having dual lives but this one takes you all the way. The suspense builds as the tortured main character, the wife, slowly discovers her husbands indiscretions during their so-called "good marriage". This book prompts us to all take a good look at our lives and really view the person we live with.
Date published: 2001-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife From the moment Kathryn opens the door on page five I couldn't put the book down. This novel is one in which the realistic parts help you to relate to the characters and where the fictitious parts keep you amazed and wanting more. Anita Shreve is a truly gifted writer. As the tale of, the newly widowed, Kathryn unfolds into a new knowledge of what has gone on in her husband's life, she begins to face things in a way she never thought she would ever have to. Alone. Because of the book's ability to relate to everyone I would truly recommend it for people ages fifteen to ninety-nine. The main theme of the novel is the question, how well can we ever really know another person? It deals with hard times and tough breaks and an overall backdrop of courage to face things. This novel makes you realize that you have to cherish every day you have, live life to the fullest and never take anything for granted, not even the small things, because just when you think something will be around forever you could wake up the next day and it might be gone.
Date published: 2001-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wowie! Absolutely loved it. Probably one of the best books I've read in a long time. I couldn't even put it down, from cover to cover. Great job on Anita Shreve's behalf.
Date published: 2000-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Wow! I just finished reading this book. I think it was extremely well written and very engrossing. I could not put it down. I completely disagree with the people that found it slow starting, I thought it was excellent. I will definetly read more from Anita Shreve!
Date published: 2000-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I'm going to have to disagree with all of the people who wrote bad ratings for this book. I found it to be one of the best books I have ever read. As soon as I read the first page I was hooked. I liked how the author went back and forth from past to present. It gives us clues that Kathryn never picked up on the time, as to her husband's other life. I found it to be an amazing book that was hard to put down until finished.
Date published: 2000-09-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed!! I can't believe this made it onto Oprah's Book Club! Oprah probably had a deadline and needed to use a book that she just finished! It was very disappointing, too much description.. very predictable. Save your money! The other books Oprah recommended (She's Come Undone) are very well-written, though!
Date published: 2000-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable I can't believe the number of people who are giving this book bad ratings! It was a very captivating story - easy to read - and it really made you think about what is real and what is not.
Date published: 2000-07-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable This book was very slow starting... and then became very predictable near the middle and the end. A very easy read for the cottage or beach, but I would not get your hopes up for an amazing book. It does, however, provoke thoughts on love, betrayal, and trust.
Date published: 2000-07-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from You Have Got to Be Kidding Knowing it was a pick of Oprah's I opened the first page of the book with great excitement, only to be immediately disappointed. I am only half way through the book but it has been a struggle to continue. Hands down this is the most boring and painfully written book I have ever read. Wait for the movie.
Date published: 2000-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pilot's Wife I could not put this book down! From cover to cover, it was totally engrossing! The story fit together so well and was not overstated. I wonder - who was really the Pilot's Wife?
Date published: 2000-04-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from BORING This book was just so slow to get going that I couldn't get past page 120. It was totally boring and I can't believe that from such a slow beginning a great novel could materialize, so I quit at pg.120.
Date published: 2000-04-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average it is! I found this book very slow in the beginning. Over 100 pages read before it started to pick up. If the book is really good you can see the characters. I couldn't see them. Pages 21-26 seemed to be thrown in, why I don't know. The last couple of chapters were a surprise also. Again, out of place.
Date published: 2000-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Book The book was truely captivating. I enjoyed it thouroughly and couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2000-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hoping for more.. This was an okay book, it didn't make me go 'wow' though. I was hoping for a higher climax and more tension or action. I like the story line and her "discovery". I also liked how each chapter ended in a way that made me want to read on.
Date published: 2000-02-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This was a novel? It read like a manuscript! By the end of this book (it took me 3 hours maximum to read it) I had no idea what any of the characters even looked like. This story had great potential that it unfortunately did not meet. Read it if you can borrow it, but don't waste your money.
Date published: 2000-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Excellent book......very easy to read....but it keeps you interested. Hard to put down. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2000-02-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife I've been disappointed by Oprah's picks before but I thought I'd take the chance on this. Definitely not what I had hoped for. I was expecting infidelity and enjoyed the first half, but I found the remaining storyline trite and unbelievable. She would have done better it the other woman was an average person with an average life, too!
Date published: 2000-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife This book is amazing. Anita Shreve accurately describes the emotions felt by someone facing the loss of a loved one. It's so accurate that anyone in a similar situation could really relate to the main character (Kathryn). I couldn't put this book down; I read it in two days.
Date published: 2000-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife This was an excellent book, I could not put it down. I spent the whole day reading it and finished in one day. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Date published: 2000-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read This book was one of the best I have ever read. Makes you wonder about trust. Captivating from beginning to end. I could not put it down until the last page had been read twice.
Date published: 2000-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good value I found this book to be one of Oprah's better picks. It's easy to read, interesting and it really makes you think. Not a bad read for the money.
Date published: 2000-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I started to read and couldn't put it down. I read it in 1 day. This is the first book by Anita Shreve I've read and I feel I must now read everything she's written. She gets into your emotions and makes you feel like it's a story about someone you know. Great and easy read!!!!
Date published: 2000-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I started to read and couldn't put it down. I read it in 1 day. This is the first book by Anita Shreve I've read, and I feel I must now read everything she's written. She gets into your emotions and makes you feel like it's a story about someone you know. Great and easy read!!!!
Date published: 2000-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Story line closure I loved this book! One of the few that I had to read without stopping. I love how the words at the end of one chapter creates an intense urge to flip the page to the next chapter. It's one few books that I've read that gave me a sense of story line closure, which I crave.
Date published: 2000-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife I could not put this book down. It is so painfully accurate that it brought me to my knees. I am astonished at how much she knew about pilots, their language and the types of lives they lead. I was also astonished at how she described losing a loved one so accurately. I was mesmerized. Lost sleep over this FICTIONAL book. Drove me crazy.... I loved it Thank you for your talent.
Date published: 2000-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife This book seems to be getting more criticism than it warrants. I guess it could be called trite, if compared with Dostoyevsky, but on it's own I would argue its merit. The author challenges us to question our sense of reality. Can we be sure of anything or is reality what we want it to be? I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to more of Shreve's work.
Date published: 2000-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book i loved this book! one of the best in a long time!
Date published: 2000-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Trite but True? An interesting, although somewhat trite, tale which could easily apply to any woman with a husband who travels. Quite frankly I finished the book wondering what all the fuss was about. The plot does not thicken as the story progresses but rather appears to be an attempt to add a layer of sophistication to an otherwise average romance novel. A good read on the beach but not something I will keep in my library.
Date published: 1999-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pilot's wife Overall, it was an easy read with periodic thought provoking passages. Makes you think about your spouse in a different (curious) light!
Date published: 1999-12-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Go for a walk instead... This book was depressing. The moral? You never really know anyone, and don't trust them...even those you love. This book will make you doubt everyone and everything you think you know.
Date published: 1999-12-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from waiting for action I was looking forward to reading this book but I was very disappointed. I felt I kept waiting for the secret but it took forever to happen. I was 3/4 through the book before anything interesting happened. I don't like to be negative but it is just too hard to find positive aspects of this book.
Date published: 1999-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilots Wife This book was so real, you thought you were the main character. If the author doesn't write a sequel to this though, and I am fairly sure she has seeing that her next book is the name of one of the places, I will be REAL upset. Loved the characters. I didn't predict the ending though.
Date published: 1999-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from worth reading The book is not long and easy to read in a short time. It was predictable in that I felt all along what the pilot's secret was. However, it was well written in that we were able to focus on the pilot's wifes' emotions while all the accusations where flying. I finished the book at the time EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed and it was haunting at how closely real live is portrayed in fiction. It made me feel differently toward the families of the pilots. Worth Reading.
Date published: 1999-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unpredictability I was searching through a favourite speciality book store when I heard a conversation between two women. As one held a copy of "The Pilots Wife" in her hand, the younger of the two said "I heard that is a excellent read", as she pointed to the novel. The woman holding the book directly replied "Oh gosh no! That is a horrible book to read. It was so predictable!" "Too predictable?" I thought to myself. "How can that be?" The Pilot's Wife is interesting novel which asks the question "How well do we really know a person?" The reader follows the the main character Kathryn through many emotional events. All these events deal with the death of Kathryn's husband Jack who turns out to be very UNPREDICATBLE! This emotional journey will cause you to see the people you love through different eyes. It will be worth your while to read. Not only does is give you something to ponder; it also is an enjoyable read! JSaleh
Date published: 1999-11-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable It came to me as a huge disappointment. The story line was simple and predictable.
Date published: 1999-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really, really good....and then This book was great! The storyline is compelling and the characters are very believable. However, I did find that the book climaxed a bit too quickly and left me a little uninterested in the last chapter or so. Still, and excellent read!
Date published: 1999-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from so far, so good I am just halfway through this book, and so far, quite enjoy it. Granted, I just finished reading an AMAZING book by Wally Lamb called "I know this much is true", and needed a 'lighter' read. So far, this book is doing it for me.
Date published: 1999-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife I am just over half way through this book and I cannot put it down. It is the best story I have read in a long time. I will definitely be trying more from Oprah's Picks.
Date published: 1999-09-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from good story line, but that's all The story concept was good, but unfortunately the author was not able to bring the characters to life. It was a quick read, and it bordered on the edge of a Harlequinn Romance. Definitely not a book I would reccommend!
Date published: 1999-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! O.k., I did put it down - had no choice, but I read it any chance I got and finished in a few days. Re earlier reviews, yes, the characters themselves may have been a bit predictable (but I didn't care), but I found the plot itself to be very interesting and unpredictable. Loved the way it was written. Now my dad's reading it.
Date published: 1999-09-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from YUCK! Although the book presents an interesting and exciting leaves much to be desired. THe character developement was pretty good though she didn't do anything with the characters. The ending is a disappointment and really a boring drawn out soap opera. The author had a lot choice to go with her characters but basically left them as I think this word sums it up...blah!
Date published: 1999-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from TV Ruined It For Me Even though I rated this book a 3 star I feel it probably deserved a 4 star. The problem I had was watching the Oprah show when they were reviewing the book and basically knowing everything that happened before I read the book. Overall I did enjoy it and do recommend it.
Date published: 1999-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Susan An enjoyable and quick read. A lot more accessible than some of Oprah's other picks. (those with small kids can't stay focussed long enough for Toni Morrison). A little preditcable but the emotions felt by the key character were really well done.
Date published: 1999-08-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Poor Pilot's Wifey Thank goodness this book was a quick read! It was written to make you feel sorry for the heroine and nothing more. A pathetic attempt by an American the hands of a Canadian writer with a lick of talent, the story has possiblities. Am I the only one out there that sees this?
Date published: 1999-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I read this book in one afternoon, and it was one of the most intersting and intriguing books I have read in quite a while. Give it a try, it won't take much time and will give you something to think about.
Date published: 1999-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quick, Enjoyable Read This book was one of the best I had read in a while. It was a bit predictable at times, but that didn't stop me from reading it in one 3 hour sitting!! I was anxious right from page one to find out how Kathryn's emotional story turned out. Every discovery she made about her husband's life made me think how easy it is to keep secrets, even from those closest to us.
Date published: 1999-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Summer Reading The book was an easy read with peaks at the right moments.
Date published: 1999-07-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from We're A Happy Family This was a cover to cover read. The Pilot's Wife, provided me with another direction for self-reflection and led to in depth discussion with my wife.
Date published: 1999-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wife Strife The surprise ending really caught me off guard. Robotics fit in quite well with this Y2K storyline. It was a new age version of Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
Date published: 1999-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good for escaping Even though I have read better books, I really did enjoy this one. It makes for great light reading if you just want something that's totally entertaining and allows you to escape reality for awhile.
Date published: 1999-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW what a book This book is the best I've read in a long time. I brought this book to the Caribbean and I couldn't put it down! I got the sunburn to prove it! I have to admit I wasn't crazy about getting on the plane to get home.
Date published: 1999-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving This book isn't for anyone who is going through rocky times in their marriage, it's about losing someone you love, and discovering all of the hidden truths that we share with no one, not even our spouses, and how the truth can hurt someone more than lies. It made me cry, it was hard to put down, I really loved the book, but it did make me sad.
Date published: 1999-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife Best Oprah pick in a while! After her husband's plane crashes, killing everyone aboard, Kathryn Lyons is forced to take a closer look at the life she had with her husband. Rumors and accusations of a suicide mission abound in the media, and Kathryn needs to find out the truth about her husband and the accident. Some great twists in the story will keep you reading late into the night.
Date published: 1999-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife Very crisp writing. Shreve adds a real sense of tension and reality to a story that keeps you wanting to read more. What the ending lacks in finality is more than compensated for in subtle, surprising twists and turns in the plot. An wonderful addition to the summer reading list.
Date published: 1999-05-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Light Read Enjoyable light read. Great cottage material.
Date published: 1999-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Pilots Wife Not a bad book but I felt like I was reading a Danielle Steele novel, very predictable, not as good as some of Oprah's picks.
Date published: 1999-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife I loved this book. Great reading on a rainy Sunday, and I coudln't put it down. Enought twists and surprises to keep me going. Makes us wonder how well we really know anyone close to us :o)
Date published: 1999-05-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Pilot`s Wife I read the book fast but it was a little predictable. It seemed to drag in certain places, but it was a good book.
Date published: 1999-05-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pilot's Wife The book was a good read however a bit too predictable. Also the plot came together, this seemed more like a made for t.v. movie than a good book... Sorry, Oprah...
Date published: 1999-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was a good read I really enjoyed this book !!!! I couldn't put it down - very enjoyable.
Date published: 1999-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Wow, now that was a very interesting book. I loved the way the author explained the storyline and kept me reading to see what would happen next. Beleive me, I am not a fast reader, but this book only took me 4 days to read.
Date published: 1999-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Pilot's Wife Having lived most of my life within a mile of an international airport, I admit it was the title that caught my eye. This novel isn't about planes or airports though. It is really a novel about a marriage, and how a sudden and violent death affects the one left behind. There are some unexpected twists and turns that turn the plot into a story of betrayal. It was quick to read, kept my interest and hasn't put me off air travel.
Date published: 1999-04-08

From Our Editors

Kathryn Lyon has an ideal life. A pilot's wife, she's happy teaching in her New England town's - and her hometown's - high school. Her marriage is a loving one and her precocious 15-year-old daughter is a constant delight. But when a late-night knock at the door awakens Kathryn to the terrible news that her husband died in a plane crash, her world erupts. Pilot's Wife is a moving, engrossing novel about Kathryn's grief, the revelation that her husband had some disturbing secrets and the constant scrutiny of the media in the midst of her tragedy. Anita Shreve is the best-selling author of The Weight of Water.