Cover image for Book Club kit : The pilot's wife
Title:
Book Club kit : The pilot's wife
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, c1998.
ISBN:
9780316789080
Physical Description:
6 bks. (293 p.) ; 25 cm. + 1 discussion guide
Target Audience:
760 L
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades 9-12 5.6 12 Quiz 31226 English fiction.
Lexile Measure:
760
Holds:

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Book Club Kit BOOK CLUB 1 .CIRCNOTE. *****6 BOOKS, 1 DISCUSSION GUIDE*****
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Summary

Summary

Anita Shreve's hauntingly beautiful #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection about tragedy, grief, betrayal, and the 'impossibility of knowing another person.'
As a pilot's wife, Kathryn has learned to expect both intense exhilaration and long periods alone, but nothing has prepared her for a late-night knock that lets her know her husband has died in a crash.
Until now, Kathryn Lyons's life has been peaceful if unextraordinary: a satisfying job teaching high school in the New England mill town of her childhood; a picture-perfect home by the ocean; a precocious, independent-minded fifteen-year-old daughter; and a happy marriage whose occasional dull passages she attributes to the unavoidable deadening of time.
As Kathryn struggles with her grief, she descends into a maelstrom of publicity stirred up by the modern hunger for the details of tragedy. Even before the plane is located in waters off the Irish coast, the relentless scrutiny of her husband's life begins to bring a bizarre personal mystery into focus. Could there be any truth to the increasingly disturbing rumors that he had a secret life?


Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

Though sacrificing depth and credibility for speed, Shreve's sixth (The Weight of Water, 1997, etc.) is another suspenseful portrait of a modern marriage rent by betrayal and loss. After her pilot husband's plane blows up off the coast of Ireland, Kathryn discovers bit by bit how little she knew Jack Lyons. First, she faces a media frenzy when the flight recorder makes clear that Jack was carrying a bomb in his flight bag. Her illusions of a her so-called good marriage crumble, despite her belief in the love she and Jack had and the need to keep Jack's memory pure for teenage daughter Mattie. As she navigates the dark days with the priest-like assistance of Robert, the pilot union's grievance expert, Kathryn increasingly feels compelled to come to grips with Jack's hidden life. Following up on a phone number she discovers among his papers, she and Robert go to London, where she finds Jack's other family: Muire, an unrepentant Irish beauty and former flight attendant, and her two young children. By now the plot is fairly screaming IRA bombers!, but instead of guns and M15 surveillance teams we get Kathryn's long, sad walk in the rain and an attempt at consolation by a now-doting Robert. The next morning, Kathryn, still lagging two beats behind the reader, has the whole thing explained to her at breakfast by a remorseful Muire, who's now forced to go on the run. Then Kathryn's staggered by Robert's revelation that he didn't come along just to keep her company-but that he's part of the investigation (though he makes no move to detain Muire). Kathryn sulks, but by story's end Robert is back in her good graces, his seeming betrayal well on its way to being forgotten. An evocative but obvious thriller, rather like a domesticated Patricia Highsmith, that keeps you reading--even as you're regretting the opportunities for intrigue and angst that the narrative consistently ignores. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

From the initial knock on the door at 3 a.m. to some five months later, Katharine Lyons finds herself in the grips of extreme emotion. Her pilot husband Jack's plane, with 103 passengers aboard, has exploded off the coast of Ireland. A union rep, Robert Hart, guides her through the first hours of grief and shock, fending off phone calls and bringing her soup. When aircrash investigators indicate they suspect a bomb and that Jack is somehow implicated, Hart becomes instrumental in protecting Katharine and her daughter from both the media and the airline, which is desperate to find a scapegoat for the disaster. As Katharine is forced to repeatedly absorb startling new information about her husband, she must face the fact that she did not really know the man she had been happily married to for 16 years. Shreve (The Weight of Water [BKL Ja 1 & 15 97]) is a graceful writer who knows just what she's doing--weaving a compelling plot through which she explores deeper issues, such as intimacy and grief. --Joanne Wilkinson