Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Pilot's Wife

As part of my quest to read the books that have been lingering in my apartment, I recently read The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve. 
I'm pretty sure I found this book on the bargain shelf last year on my birthday, so I suppose it was fitting that I picked it up almost exactly one year later. I didn't realize until I got going that this book is actually kind of a mystery. It's not precisely a "whodunit," but suspense is an important element. With that in mind, here's my overview. The protagonist, Kathryn, is the wife of a pilot who is killed off the coast of Northern Ireland when the plane he is flying explodes. Kathryn must then deal with her grief about the loss of her husband (the father of her teenage daughter), while also trying to understand what caused his death. 

I really enjoyed this book! While it wasn't a page turner like your average John Grisham, it definitely kept me engaged. I'm coming off a string of dud books lately, so I found having something I enjoyed reading especially refreshing. As you can probably tell from the Oprah's Book Club imprint on the cover, this book was written quite some time ago. While it was set in the present day at the time, Kathryn's daughter who was 15 during the story is certainly older than I am. In the age before 9/11, air travel was just plain different. It's been a long time since I'd really thought about that. 

Another odd little tie in was that, the day I finished the book, I also watched a documentary called Jig (available streaming on Netflix). Jig is a collection of stories about the World Irish Dancing Championships. I couldn't help but think about the connection between Ireland and the Pilot's Wife while I was enjoying Jig. And, just for the record, I really enjoyed it as well! It reminded me a little of an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, but it was free from the moral qualms about whether the underlying competition is really of value. Here's a trailer for your enjoyment! 

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