The Pilot’s Wife

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

When a union representative appears at the door of her New England home in the middle of the night, Kathryn Lyons knows something has happened to her husband Jack, an airline pilot. What Robert Hart has to tell her is that Jack’s airliner has gone down over Ireland. It is bad enough for Kathryn and their fifteen- year-old daughter to face the holidays without Jack; however, there is even worse to come. First there are rumors that Jack committed suicide, then indications that there may have been a bomb in Jack’s flight bag.

Looking back on their life together, Kathryn pinpoints the time when Jack became cold toward her. In his records, she discovers why: he had another family in London. Determined to find out who Jack really was, Kathryn flies to London, accompanied by Hart, who still hopes to exonerate Jack. In the end, Kathryn comes to terms with the truth and with her own feelings, forgives both Jack and her rival, and moves toward another commitment.

With its deft plotting, its spare style, and its subtlety in characterization, THE PILOT’S WIFE is a fine novel. It is also one that will cause many readers to wonder how much they really know about those closest to them.