The Pilot's Wife Review
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Questions follow the accident. Soon it becomes clear that the crash's impact will not only change the family's future, but its past as well.

I'm not really going out on a limb here to say that this Oprah Book Club selection is indeed a good read. Begin with a situation that most of us must wonder about sometime when such disasters occur. Shreve then takes this tale and invents something else. This is a well-written, guilt-free yarn.

James Patterson or Chuck Palahniuk fans might want to pass this one by. Out of a dozen quick testimonials on the cover and front pages, only one was written by a guy, which makes sense given the emotional terrain of the story. I doubt whether many male readers will reach for this one, but I liked it a lot.

Here's a quick sample. Recalling her "good" marriage, Kathryn remembers this as well:

"But actually she thought that any marriage was like radio reception: It came and went. Occasionally, it -- the marriage, Jack -- would be clear to her. At other times, there would be interference, a staticky sound between them. At those times, it would be as though she couldn't quite hear Jack, as though the messages to her were drifting in the wrong direction through the stratosphere."

Shreve's writing clarifies Kathryn's internal trauma. You don't see the character stumble through her days and nights, you feel what its like to stumble along with her, to make each startling discovery, to unravel the threads of your family life until you find your hands are open and empty.

I had my paperback copy (just under 300 pages) read in two days. That's my basic test of a good read, and The Pilot's Wife passes with honors.

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