The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

If there's one word to describe Anita Shreve's stories, it would be fragile. There's a fragility pervading between its spaces and words. I was first introduced to her book, Fortune's Rocks, and fell in love with her prose.

The Pilot's Wife is almost a subdued contemporary echo of it even though this book came out first. It was mentioned by the author that these two titles actually share the same cottage setting, only divided by time. And while the rugged beauty of the beach side along with the drama affect the characters' consciousness in Fortune's Rocks, here, the place takes a backseat and rather Shreve brings to light more the emotional turmoil of a woman deep in grief and lost in her memories.

It is haunting, a bit cold and gray-ish in quality just like its cover image, I must say. Despite the mystery element of the story, hastening the pace of reading cuts off the charm of the book for it often insists to waylay the mind to be wrapped in fast nostalgia and remain lingeringly the same way as the heroine is doing.

More often than not, Shreve's writing is about staying in the moment, in the present thought. How whirls of emotions could drown out and seep us in, how pondering thoughts push our minds further to keep seeking truths and answers that never come. It is on this note that you always get torn with her books.

On this one, it starts slow and then falls too quickly. I can't help as well thinking of Olympia's old life while Kathryn walks around the present house which sometimes is a distraction. Some scenarios did not have much space to unfurl properly but I guess the author would prefer to keep the mystery in till the end and let our imaginations wander instead.


Gripping new fiction by the author of The Weight of Water. Kathryn Lyons' life turns to chaos when her pilot husband was killed in a plane crash. As she struggles with her grief, Kathryn faces shocking revelations about the secrets a man can keep and the actions a woman is willing to take.

Title: The Pilot's Wife
Author: Anita Shreve
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published: 2006 (first published 1998)
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Rating: ♨♨♨ (3 cups - Emotional and haunting.)