Book Club Kits
The Pilot's Wife
by Shreve, Anita
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1. Kathryn and Jack appear to live an idyllic life. At what point did you begin to suspect that things may not be as perfect as they appear?
2. Jack's secret, double life is the surprise element of this story. He lives separate lives on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. How important is the transatlantic setting? Could the story carry the same impact if his flight schedules kept him within the United States? Is the location of Jack and Kathryn's home significant to the story?
3. Who do you consider the main character in this book? Do you feel that you know the personality of either Jack or Kathryn?
4. As the story develops, Kathryn pieces together the facts of Jack's other life. However, she can only speculate on his motivations and rationale. Do you believe that her conclusions are accurate? (For example: did Jack choose not to divorce Kathryn because of his love for their daughter Mattie? Was the appeal of serving the IRA for a greater sense of meaning in life? (Page 264))
5. Kathryn experiences two tragedies in the novel, first is the death of her husband, second is the realization of his betrayal. Which do you consider the greater tragedy?
6. Kathryn begins to question who is Jack's "real wife" on page 275. Is it her, his first wife, or Muire whom he married in church and told the truth about his life? Who do you believe is Jack's real wife?
7. Toward the end of the novel, it becomes apparent that Robert had suspected Jack's activities throughout the story. Did he also betray Kathryn by not revealing his suspicions? What do you think about their reconciliation?
8. The Pilot's Wife was a "made-for-TV" movie. Why do you think this format was used rather than big-screen? Did you see the movie? Do you think the movie is a good interpretation of the novel?