The Pilot's Wife: A Novel
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A pilot's wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door. But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plan flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time. Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumors that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost. Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question, How well can we ever really know another person?
and out of an airport, you get to know the security people pretty well,” Robert said. “They chat about their families and they wave you through. It’s a courtesy. When I was flying, I probably had to show my passport one time in fifty. And customs almost never looked in my flight bag.” Kathryn shook her head. “I had no idea,” she said. “Jack never said.” “Some of the pilots, they keep it to themselves. I guess if what you’re bringing in is a present, it spoils the gift if the wife knows you
visceral the fear of one’s own death was: She hadn’t been this sick even when she’d learned that Jack had died. As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, Kathryn rose unsteadily to use the lavatory. A flight attendant handed her a plastic envelope containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a wash-cloth, a bar of soap, and a comb, and Kathryn realized such kits were kept on hand expressly for physically distraught passengers. Were they for first-class passengers only, or did everyone get one? In
Antrim Road as it led west, away from the Belfast airport. The flight had been uneventful, the car rental straightforward. She felt an almost physical urgency to get to her destination. By landing west of Belfast, she’d missed the city altogether, had seen none of the bombed-out buildings and bullet-scarred facades she’d heard about. Indeed, it was difficult to reconcile the pastoral landscape spreading out before her with the unsolvable conflict that had claimed so many lives — most recently
way one realizes that subliminally all the words have been heard and are there in the mind just waiting to be called forth. Later Kathryn would come to think of the bulletins as bullets. Word bullets that tore into the brain and exploded, obliterating memories. “Robert,” she called. He came into the living room and stood next to her. “It’s not confirmed,” he said. “They think a bomb?” “It’s just a theory. Give her one of these.” “What is it?” “It’s a Valium.” “You carry these?” she asked.
but for the two thin wisps of ice blue that were her bathing suit. “Are you going to eat it or release it?” Kathryn asked. “What do you think I should do?” “If it weren’t your first, I’d say release it. Did Dad ever teach you how to clean a fish?” Mattie stood up, hoisting the fish with muscles that were all but spent. “I’ll get the camera,” Kathryn said. “Love you, Mom,” Mattie said, grinning. Kathryn walked across the lawn and listened to the halyards on the flagpole sending out an