Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

Title: The Pilot's Wife
Author: Anita Shreve
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Published: 1999
Pages: 283

Rating - 3 out of 10

The Pilot's Wife opens with a striking scene in which the main character, Kathryn, discovers that her husband has just been killed in a plane crash. As time goes on, she discovers secrets about her husband that she had never known about when he was alive.
I am normally overwhelmed by rampant disgusted and exasperation by modern bestsellers within the first few pages, but this one was a bit better. In contrast, I felt only mildly disgusted and exasperated after the first half dozen chapters.
The main character is a brittle shell - not to mention an insufferably annoying idiot - who only exists to let the story take place. Plus, everything was just, well, so melodramatic. "Cliche" would be the word that most strongly comes to mind, because this book was full of them. The "twist" was, while perhaps not predictable, certainly no surprise. I was rolling my eyes. I mean, really.
The plot became more and more bizarre and unbelievable as it went. By the end, characters were going to ridiculously extreme lengths to hurry the story along, none of which seemed plausible, and the grieving widow has a weird make-out session 'just because.'
The only decent aspect of this book is that Shreve is quite good at writing about grief and emotion. The scenes in which the main character is weeping disconsolately are, believe it or not, the best.
This is fluffy airport reading (well, maybe not... considering the subject of plane crashes). Not my kind of book.