Announcing Our Best Books of 2021

What readers think of The Pilot's Wife, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Pilot's Wife

by Anita Shreve

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve X
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 1999, 293 pages
    Mar 1999, 293 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 5
There are currently 35 reader reviews for The Pilot's Wife
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!


The ending of pilots wife
I enjoyed the book until the last few lines. The author should of been more specific. I reread the ending several times and still didn't understand it. I finally had to goggle the ending to understand it.
Kimberly B

The Pilots Wife
I couldn't put the book down. Shreve writes so descriptively and fluidly that its like watching a movie! I was confused with the very last paragraph though: A lottery ticket on the mantelpiece? Where did that come from? I mean, I understand she is wondering about her husband's other children, but it left me confused. Please, tell!

The Pilot's Wife
“SHE HEARD A KNOCKING AND THEN A DOG BARKING” and in that instant Kathryn Lyons life changed to an unexpected struggle between happiness and reality. Anita Shreve’s fictional masterpiece The Pilot’s Wife is an emotional roller coaster filled with adventure, sadness, depression, and the perpetual question “how well can you really know somebody?”

Imagine lying asleep in a dream and waking up to a life where the unthinkable becomes reality. Kathryn Lyons woke up to devastating news of her husband dying in a plane crash. The next step she took was a step into the unthinkable; a step towards an emotional journey which led to a mystery of untold secrets about her husband’s covert life.

Kathryn Lyons was a school teacher who thought her life was as ordinary as anybody else’s. She had a beautiful fifteen year old daughter, Mattie, and a husband named Jack who was a pilot. Kathryn and Jack were married for many years, but it wasn’t until his unexpected death until she realized she knew nothing about him. While traveling through the emotional roller coaster of Jack’s untold life you really start to wonder “how well you can really know somebody.”

Kathryn Lyons was the reason I loved this book, the strength and courage shown throughout the story gave me a sense of happiness and reason. Kathryn Lyons had to battle a constant struggle with depression. Kathryn’s courage to go on and live her life knowing her husband had another life was extremely heartwarming. Throughout the whole story Kathryn stays strong, not only for herself, but mostly for her daughter. Mattie is a lot like Kathryn but didn’t’ seemed as involved. Mattie was caring, loving, and had a good relationship with her father which you could tell from events in the novel. Jack’s character made me feel anger and hatred. However, his character seemed as if it brought the novel to life. As the mystery with Jack started to unravel I began feeling exceedingly irritated with him because of all the unexpected events and actions that took place throughout the novel.

Anita Shreve is an intellectual writer. She writes her novels in a way that not only catches the reader’s attention, but also allows readers to feel the emotions that the characters are feeling. With the mixed emotions of anger, hatred, depression, happiness, and reality Shreve made The Pilot’s Wife an exceptionally intriguing novel.

Anita Shreve’s The Pilot’s Wife immediately caught my attention and left me unable to set the book down until the very last page. With the heartfelt journey taken throughout the story and Shreve’s intelligence The Pilot’s Wife is by far my favorite novel that I have ever read. It is most definitely a must read for everyone who loves a superb novel.

The Pilot's Wife
Once you read The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve you are sure to feel the same as I do. In the early morning hours of 3:24 a.m. Kathryn is awakened only to be told that her husband’s plane has crashed off the coast of Malin Head, Ireland. Now Kathryn is left to tell her only daughter and deal with the investigation and all the new facts she is soon to find out about her husband.

Kathryn, a mother, wife, and school teacher, is married to Jack who is a pilot. They have a fifteen year old daughter, Mattie, and the three of them live in what used to be a nuns convent along the beach in Fortune’s Rock, New Hampshire. Kathryn’s grandmother, Julia, lives about twenty minutes away and cares for Mattie during much of this story. Kathryn and Jack seemed to have had a normal life that consisted of love and care for more than ten years. Throughout those years, though, they grew apart and as Kathryn finds, they grew more apart than she thought.

When Kathryn answered the early morning knock at the door, Robert, a man from the airport, told her the news of her husband and helped her deal with the tragedy for the next few months. Robert protected her from all the investigators and news journalists trying to find bits and pieces of new information to add to the developing story. During part of the investigation Kathryn was questioned if she had told any of Jack’s family. However, Jack no longer had any family living and Kathryn responded by saying, “His mother is dead.” To her surprise though, Jack lied to her and his mother was still living at a nursing home in Minnesota.

[edited for plot spoilers]

I was amazed to see how clear and precise the narrator was about the setting. I was even able to picture all the minute details in your head. Also, after the clues started piling up I was raging with fury .... This exciting suspenseful, tragedy was an excellent book to read even though I encountered feelings of anger often times. Now I understand why The Pilot’s Wife has been on Oprah’s Book Club list since March 1999, because it is easy for any woman that has ever been in a relationship to relate to. To find out what happened in London and what Jack had lied about, you must read The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve!
Whitney Harris

The Pilot's Wife
Anita Shreve’s novel, The Pilot’s Wife, is essentially about a woman, Kathryn Lyons, and how peaceful and perfect her life is until her husband’s plane explodes just off the coast of Ireland. Later in the story she begins to figure out that her life was not perfect and all that she thought it to be ...
I loved this book and I hope that people will consider reading it.
[This review has been edited to remove plot spoilers]

page turner
Just finished this book and loved it. For anyone who has ever been betrayed, it certainly challenges the emotions one feels. In the end, I liked the hope... that we can recover even in the face of events we never thought could happen.
Sarah Hunt

I loved this book.
It really sucked me into it.
I loved the words and the description of the book.
I think it was fabulous.

Excellent book. I couldn't put it down!!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Mother
    The Book of Mother
    by Violaine Huisman
    Fictionalizing the life of author Violaine Huisman's own mother, this debut novel is split into ...
  • Book Jacket
    People from My Neighborhood
    by Hiromi Kawakami
    People from My Neighborhood is exactly what it sounds like — an unnamed narrator recounts a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Win Me Something
    by Kyle Lucia Wu
    Kyle Lucia Wu's Win Me Something opens with a young woman named Willa explaining that she did not ...
  • Book Jacket: The Island of Missing Trees
    The Island of Missing Trees
    by Elif Shafak
    The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak tells a tale of generational trauma, explores identity ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beasts of a Little Land
    by Juhea Kim

    An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement.

Who Said...

I am what the librarians have made me with a little assistance from a professor of Greek and a few poets

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

I Y Can't S T H, G O O T K

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.