Thursday, February 19, 2009
Book 16: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
Title: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
How it was obtained: I purchased it for 10 cents from the library. The book was in good shape, and I thought it might possibly be interesting to read.
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: About a year.
Days spent reading it: 4 days.
Why I read it: I often peruse the used book pile at our library. Sometimes a nice looking book shows up, so I buy them. Yes, as I've stated before, I will buy a book based on its cover. More importantly I will often read (or not read) a book based on its font readability. This book's pages and fonts were in great shape. Totally readable. So I read it.
The Pilot's Wife was a fascinating novel about some huge themes. Loss permeates this book as the main character, Kathryn, learns about her husbands death and the subsequent aftermath. Shreve tackles other themes such as death, life, love, betrayal, family and she tackles them with wonderful prose.
Kathryn is awakened at 3 am with news that her husband's plane has crashed. Her husband was the pilot (hence, The Pilot's Wife). Shreve slowly shows us as Kathryn's world unravels around this watershed moment in her life. Kathryn's heartache and loss are felt from the first page. However, the story continues as Kathryn learns about a secret life that her husband has been leading. I would not dare spoil the plot for you, all of this can be found on the back cover. Needless to say, this book unveils slowly a world that was not as it first appeared.
I think Shreve does a wonderful job with her characters. They are complex, they grow, change, and develop with the story. I found her writing smooth, I could just take it in all day. Her conversations are understated, but perfect. They are conversations that went deeper than the words that were uttered. Like every word was important. Shreve says in one sentence what some writers struggle to express in paragraphs. I enjoyed this book until the end. However, I was confused by the last paragraph. If anyone reads this book, and wants to explain to me what the author is trying to say in the last paragraph, please let me know! I just could not "get it."
I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. At first I was afraid that I had picked up a "girl book" and probably would not like it, I just had to press ahead. Instead I really enjoyed it and believe it is a great novel that can be savored by those who decide to pick it up and allow it to take you on a journey about love and loss.
Favorite quote: "If you never suspected someone, she realized, you never thought to suspect."
Stars: 4.5 out of 5.
Final Word: Intriguing.