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Who can guess what a woman will do when the unthinkable becomes her reality? From the bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF WATER, this enormously gripping and powerfully wrought novel asks the questions we all have about ourselves and definitively places Anita Shreve among the ranks of the best novelists writing today. 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349110851
ISBN-10: 0349110859
Format: Paperback
(156mm x 199mm x 20mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 18-Nov-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Kathryn Lyons is a lucky woman, with a job she enjoys, comfortable New England home, bright daughter and strong marriage. Husband Jack is a long-haul airline pilot. Like any pilot's wife, Kathryn is aware not only of blank spaces, but also the risky nature of his job; so when the knock-on-the-door arrives, she stiffens her emotional muscles to face the consequences. But even she could not foresee the spreading ripples of damage and grief when the unrelenting glare of publicity pierces Jack's 'shadowed corners', to expose things Kathryn and 14-year-old Mattie never dreamed of. A heart-stopping story, beautifully crafted, beautifully written; highly recommended. Shreve's The Weight of Water was shortlisted for the 1998 Orange Prize for Fiction. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Though sacrificing depth and credibility for speed, Shreve's sixth (The Weight of Water, 1997, etc.) is another suspenseful portrait of a modern marriage rent by betrayal and loss. After her pilot husband's plane blows up off the coast of Ireland, Kathryn discovers bit by bit how little she knew Jack Lyons. First, she faces a media frenzy when the flight recorder makes clear that Jack was carrying a bomb in his flight bag. Her illusions of a her so-called good marriage crumble, despite her belief in the love she and Jack had and the need to keep Jack's memory pure for teenage daughter Mattie. As she navigates the dark days with the priest-like assistance of Robert, the pilot union's grievance expert, Kathryn increasingly feels compelled to come to grips with Jack's hidden life. Following up on a phone number she discovers among his papers, she and Robert go to London, where she finds Jack's other family: Muire, an unrepentant Irish beauty and former flight attendant, and her two young children. By now the plot is fairly screaming IRA bombers!, but instead of guns and M15 surveillance teams we get Kathryn's long, sad walk in the rain and an attempt at consolation by a now-doting Robert. The next morning, Kathryn, still lagging two beats behind the reader, has the whole thing explained to her at breakfast by a remorseful Muire, who's now forced to go on the run. Then Kathryn's staggered by Robert's revelation that he didn't come along just to keep her company-but that he's part of the investigation (though he makes no move to detain Muire). Kathryn sulks, but by story's end Robert is back in her good graces, his seeming betrayal well on its way to being forgotten. An evocative but obvious thriller, rather like a domesticated Patricia Highsmith, that keeps you reading - even as you're regretting the opportunities for intrigue and angst that the narrative consistently ignores. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the critically acclaimed author of eleven bestselling novels, all available from Little, Brown and Abacus.

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