Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

"She heard a knocking, and then a dog barking. Her dream left her, skittering behind a closing door. It had been a good dream, warm and close, and she minded. She fought the waking."

Title: The Pilot's Wife
Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN: 031660195
Publisher: Back Bay Books/1998
Pages: 293

With that opening, The Pilot's Wife does not let our interest waver. Kathryn Lyons' world comes crashing down when the plane that her husband Jack had been flying goes down. It had supposedly exploded, no one knows why and how. Then there are all sorts of speculation, rumours start which affects her deeply. She has to protect their 15 years old daughter at any cost.

Piece by piece she comes to know Jack led a dual life. Kathryn has to find out the truth about him no matter how it costs her. Yet she has to think of her daughter too. She sets about knowing all about him, the other life he led.

This sets her towards the question: "How well can we truly know a person?" Can we really know a person even if we live with together for a lifetime? Why can't we recognise the hints? Does trust means blind faith? This novel explores all this.

Shreve's prose is very powerful and gripping. One can't put down the book after beginning it. We journey along with Kathryn. Her sadness can be felt by us.


UK said...

The Pilot's Wife is a very tasteful novel - very little profanity (yeah!), very little sex. While the plot may be somewhat unoriginal, the writing and storyline are subperb. The ending was AWESOME.