Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOSAIC OF AN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE...
This is a beautifully written novel about a happily married woman, Kathryn Lyons, whose husband, Jack, is an airlines pilot. They have a teen age daughter named Mattie. They live in Kathryn's childhood home in Ely, New Hampshire. For sixteen years, life has been good. Then her husband goes down with his plane, just ten miles off the coast of Ireland, and ever so slowly...
Published on 20 Sept. 2001 by Lawyeraau

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read but unsatisfactory
Kathryn is a well-realised character and the descriptions of the grief that grips her when he learns of her husband's death are powerful and convincing.

Jack, necessarily seen only in flashback, is something of a cipher, though, and I never had a sense of him and Kathryn as a living, breathing couple. His secrets manage to be simultaneously both banal and...
Published on 13 Dec. 2009 by S. B. Kelly


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOSAIC OF AN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE..., 20 Sept. 2001
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written novel about a happily married woman, Kathryn Lyons, whose husband, Jack, is an airlines pilot. They have a teen age daughter named Mattie. They live in Kathryn's childhood home in Ely, New Hampshire. For sixteen years, life has been good. Then her husband goes down with his plane, just ten miles off the coast of Ireland, and ever so slowly the very fabric of their life together unravels.
The media frenzy, surrounding the explosion of the plane that her husband was piloting, brings to light the inescapable fact that her husband had been, unbeknownst to her, leading a double life, a life that had not included her or their daughter, but had, most emphatically, excluded them. This is a story of Kathryn's navigation of the emotional roller coaster that was to become her life, as she is thrust into a maelstrom of grief and disbelief, struggling to reconcile her memory of the man she thought she knew, with the reality of who he now appeared to have been.
This is a remarkable book, written in clean, spare prose that underscores some of the very emotion laden issues with which it grapples. At times infinitely sad and poignant, it is a story of betrayal and splintered memories. It is a very absorbing, skillfully told tale of adultery that will hold the reader in its thrall.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High standard, as usual, 22 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
I've read several of Anita Shreve's novels and they have all been superb, this one being no exception. The story centres upon Kathryn and Mattie, the wife and daughter of Jack, an airline pilot whose plane crashes over the sea. The author deals empathetically with Kathryn and Mattie's shock and subsequent coming-to-terms with the dreadful reality of the situation. However, Kathryn is to discover that her husband was not all that he seemed to be and that he had been leading a double life - a life that he may have been planning to leave Kathryn for. As the questions are asked and the Press descend, Kathryn looks back upon her marriage and is forced to make some honest admissions. Robert, sent from her husband's airline, is there to help Kathryn through the worst of the times, but is he too keeping secrets from her? Anita Shreve writes with such simplicity and yet so much understated intrigue, that she kept me reading from the very first page. Her attention to detail (often seeming so insignificant to the story) often had me thinking out loud, "That's so true!". As with all the author's novels, you have to read on to discover whether there will be a happy ending. Superb!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading but beautifully written, 9 Jan. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
I read this book whilst on holiday (fortunately not close to boarding an aeroplane!) and found it easy escapist reading. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys novels about relationships and who likes a good twist to a tale.
I was particularly impressed by the author's honest and believable portrayal of grief and its various characteristic stages. The plot, although perhaps a little far fetched, was engaging and held my interest to the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read all you can by Anita Shreve!, 17 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
I read Anita Shreve's Weight of Water last year when it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Women Fiction written in English. I thought it was the best of the shortlist even though it didn't win - beaten by Carol Sheilds Larry's Party.
Now I have just finished this one, am deeply engrossed by Eden Close, and have a fourth, Resistance, waiting on the bookshelf. Yes, I'm hooked and intend to read everything she has written, except I cannot find a copy of Strange Fits of Passion.
I saw The Pilot's Wife in a bookshop soon after reading Weight of Water but did not immediately buy it because the cover made me feel that they might be too much alike. This was because it is about a plane crash into water. Was there a preoccupation here? However, another book shop trip did see me buy it. Glad I did!
It is about Kathryn Lyons, a pilot's wife, and the devastation her husband Jack's fatal crash has on her life. Normally her family life revolves around Jack's commercial flight schedule. The book interweaves the arrival of news about the crash and its trauma for Kathryn with beautiful descriptions of her and Jack's courtship and marriage some 16 years previously. This interweaving of strands is something Anita Shreve does very well - although for me Weight of Water is the better book, albeit the earlier one. However, I have a liking for what Anita Shreve is doing with these two novels and have resolved to read more. Having now started to read Eden Close, I find she does this well yet again. Her style enthralls me, its quite memorable - the strength of the interconnections.
In the Pilot's Wife, Kathryn's state upon hearing of the crash is one of total shock and emptiness. Even the kindness of others is too much - like people bringing round food, just as they do when you are in hospital, when the last thing you feel like doing is eating! Contrast the slow pace this state - life has stopped , like a clock stuck in time, Kathryn is caught in an everlasting moment of never ending despair - with the intensity of the press constantly clamoring at her doorstep. Then, her wake up call comes. Everything changes. The plane's black box has been recovered. Responsibility for the crash starts to be pinned to Jack. Kathryn begins to think and goes over and over the hours before that flight, searching for something, she does not really know what. What she finds, is that she did not actually know all of Jack. Now she has to come to terms with this and all its consequences. Before being able to transcend grief and begin anew.
You guessed it, I am enjoying all Anita Shreve's books and looking forward to more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She has captured the feelings of anyone recently bereaved., 30 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This was the first book I had read by this author and I was glad she had been recommended to me. From the start the book jumps between the present and the past, which seems to be the style of Shreve. The main characters were easy to identify with, and the descriptions of the locations were good enough to make me feel as if I was there with them. As the book unfolded I went from being an observer of the story to taking the side of the main character.
The ending was as expected - but by no means disappointing - yet it wasn't final, leaving each reader to finish the story themselves.
I have already started another of her books, the much acclaimed "The Weight of Water".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read - well written and hard to put down, 28 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
I had only previously read one Anita Shreve novel - The Weight of Water - but I thought this book was fantastic. Anita Shreve writes beautifully and I was gripped from the first chapter of this novel. The action is actually quite slow, certainly in the first half of the book as Kathryn gradually discovers the evidence which unearths Jack's secret but there isn't a time when the book becomes even slightly boring.
The only thing that I was disappointed with was, ultimately, the involvement of the troubles in Northern Ireland which I found quite cliched, particularly coming from an American author. However, I wouldn't say that it makes the book any worse as a whole.
I think the previous reviewer, saying that this is 'male-bashing' and 'full of venom', is being incredibly harsh. Obviously, the theme of the book is betrayal, in a BIG way, and whether it is ever possible to truly know someone, no matter how close you think you may be. The story is excellent and has great depth in the relationships between the characters. It would make a great film.
I am about to start 'Eden Close' now and am looking forward to it immensely.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intensity, 9 Jan. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
Anita Shreve has the ability to hold your attention within novels that are always intriguing. The Pilot's Wife does just that with the action starting from the first page. I thought her use of the troubles in Northern Ireland was balanced and reflects the naievity of many American's who fail to understand the true nature and history of the problem. The husband falling for the romantic notions so frequently found among many Americans. The tension was mantained throughout and the novel was well constructed, it falls easily into the category of an 'easy read' but one of high quality. Anita Shreve has a wonderful grasp of prose and human nature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read but unsatisfactory, 13 Dec. 2009
By 
S. B. Kelly (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
Kathryn is a well-realised character and the descriptions of the grief that grips her when he learns of her husband's death are powerful and convincing.

Jack, necessarily seen only in flashback, is something of a cipher, though, and I never had a sense of him and Kathryn as a living, breathing couple. His secrets manage to be simultaneously both banal and ludicrous.

It's an easy read and I happily turned the pages but it's lightweight and the ending is too obvious.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carries you along, with enough twists to maintain interest, 2 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
I read 'The Pilots Wife' in just two sittings which is unusually quick for me. The book certainly carried me along. The mystery of what exactly happened in the cockpit is sufficient to keep curiousity high.
The novel structure is reasonably conventional. The story is told from the the Wife's (Kathryn) point of view. A straight forward chronological structure is interspersed with flashbacks to events in the marriage. The main characters are few but interestingly drawn. Kathryn in particular is consistently represented as being able to perceive beyond the immediate and obvious. Her slighthly awkward daughter Mattie seemed familiar and Julia the grandmother was convincing. Some of the motivations of Jack seemed a bit doubtful however. The development of the understanding between Kathryn and the union rep, Robert is particularly well done. Anita Shreve writes very skilfully, cleverly linking subchapters without being too obvious and she uses language well e.g. The Irishman's description of the plane crash. I would have liked her to have used more than just one voice though. Telling the story more from other viewpoints would have been interesting e.g. Mattie's reaction to her Mother and Robert. Could a little more humour be inserted as well? The scene in the pub is funny and a welcome change of mood. I'll definitely read some more of this author's work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOSAIC OF AN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE..., 21 Nov. 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pilot's Wife (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written novel about a happily married woman, Kathryn Lyons, whose husband, Jack, is an airlines pilot. They have a teenage daughter named Mattie. They live in her lovely childhood home in Ely, New Hampshire. For sixteen years life has been good. Then her husband goes down with his plane, just ten miles off the coast of Ireland, and ever so slowly the very fabric of their life together unravels.
The media frenzy surrounding the explosion of the plane that her husband was piloting, brings to light the plain fact that her husband had been, unbeknownst to her, leading a double life, a life that had not included her or their daughter, but had, most emphatically, excluded them. This is a story of Kathryn's navigation of the emotional roller coaster that was to become her life, as she is thrust into a maelstrom of grief and disbelief, as she struggles to reconcile her memory of the man she thought she knew, with the reality of who he now appeared to have been.
This is a remarkable book, written in clean spare prose, that underscores some of the very emotion laden issues with which it grapples. At times infinitely sad and poignant, it is a story of betrayal and splintered memories. A very absorbing, skillfully told tale of adultery that will hold the reader in its thrall
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Pilot's Wife
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve (Paperback - 18 Nov. 1999)
£8.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews