Who can guess what a woman will do when the unthinkable becomes her reality?
Being married to a pilot has taught Kathryn Lyons to be ready for emergencies, but nothing has prepared her for the late-night knock on her door and the news of her husband’s fatal crash. As Kathryn struggles through her grief, she is forced to confront disturbing rumours about the man she loved and the life that she took for granted. Torn between her impulse to protect her husband’s memory and her desire to know the truth, Kathryn sets off to find out if she ever really knew the man who was her husband. In her determination to test the truth of her marriage, she faces shocking revelations about the secrets a man can keep and the actions a woman is willing to take.
My reading experience:
The story of how you accidentally find out the person you love isn’t that person at all. You might think this is all sorrow and tragedy but Shreve has cleverly given us a book about the connections between mothers and daughters and the beauty of that generationally.
“Julia had held Kathryn’s hand, and Kathryn had held Mattie’s, and this passing on of strength, this willing of strength from one to the other to the other had helped Kathryn, and she thought Mattie and Julia as well, survive the service.”
Shreve also brings her usual gossamer landscape in the beautiful phrases she uses.
“… but now the sky was beginning to cloud over, just swirls of cloud, milk drops in a water glass.”
This story is about love and how it grows and evolves, but also about individuality, choices and strength. Of course it is also about betrayal, deceit, of sadness and longing and loneliness. Overwhelmingly it is about love and it’s power to tie you with invisible threads.
A beautiful read, I highly recommend The Pilot’s Wife.
Acquisition note: I picked this book up in a book exchange telephone box in a little place called Ubley in Somerset.