Friday, July 07, 2006

The Pilot's Wife

In less than 24 hours I have completed a fascinating book that my good friend Carrie lent me, The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve. (This was a former Oprah book club book and was written in '98.) I have been wanting to read her work for awhile, and yesterday Carrie brought over several of them for me to take on my trip to Mexico. (Yes, I am leaving for Cozumel in 12 hours and have yet to begin packing due to my entrancement with this book.)

I am very impressed by Anita Shreve and the way that she writes, and I was very disturbed by many of the things in this book because they were so real and gripping on me emotionally. The major plot of the story is about a woman who is widowed when her pilot husband is involved in an airplane crash (doesn't give me peace about flying tomorrow :)) and the investigation that follows. Her world is shattered when she learns that her husband is living a secret double life with another family, and all of her once-fond memories are now weighted with this all-consuming discovery. She cannot even grieve her husband because she realizes that does not know who he really was. There were so many things that she was naive about--bank records, his accomodations while traveling, his childhood. It really blew me away and made me feel sort of nosy, although I guess I'd rather be nosy...

Reading this book affected me personally. In my life, I have been blessed with a dad who has shown an example to my sister and me of how to be a good husband who not only loves but enjoys every aspect of his wife and his marriage. I am so thankful for that. I am also blessed with a great husband who seeks to be God's man and is selfless in giving love. However, I have also, in my life, experienced the pain and destruction that unfaithfulness in marriage causes for anyone related to the situation through several friends' and family's experiences that I have been closely connected to. For a long time, I wondered if I would ever be able to trust a man besides my dad. For a long time, I put off the thought of being in a serious relationship with anyone because I was afraid that I could not trust "him." For a long time, I kept Patrick at such an arm's length because I could not differentiate him from another... Thankfully, God continues to heal my heart by reminding me to trust in HIM. Thankfully, God is showing me that love can be pure and good and true--even when it gets hard.

One of the things that struck me in this book is when the wife, Kathryn, is talking to her friend Robert. He mentions that having a memorial service to honor her husband is something that God would want her to do. She reflects that never, in her 16 years of marriage, has she thought about what God would ask of her and Jack. Those words made me sad. I hope that no matter how high or low I feel spiritually, that I will always strive to do what God asks of me and Patrick. In premarital counseling, Jim emphasized in every meeting that "marriage is HARD WORK." He said it over and over, and I'm thankful for that. I have learned from situations that I've been involved in that people don't just wake up one morning and decide to be unfaithful (emotionally and/or sexually). Instead, somewhere, at some earlier point in time, the couple has stopped working at their marriage, has stopped connecting, and has a void that desires to be filled. Thinking about that freaks me out because it is so easy to just put your marriage in "cruise control" and coast along... I am committed, now more than ever, to work and pray and seek God in our marriage.

Upon finishing this book, my reactions are similar to how I felt after reading The Shofar Blew, by Francine Rivers... although at that time, I felt like I was watching that book being lived out...

Next on my list of Anita Shreve's are All He Ever Wanted and Wedding in December. Thanks, Carrie!

6 comments:

lindsay meek said...

Wow. That sounds like a very interesting book. Your thoughts were great about marriage and it is a good reminder to work at it daily. I am so glad we found two wonderful guys to marry that we trust with all of our heart like we do dad. I hope you have a wonderful trip next week. I pray that it will all go smoothly and that you will get to enjoy yourself. You all will do wonderful work! I can't wait to see you next Saturday night. If you get a last minute chance, call me in the morning. We'll be up and leaving by 5 AM!! Love you...

**CARRIE** said...

I cannot believe that you have already finished that book. I am AMAZED!! You are awesome!! I am so glad the you liked it, too, and that it touched you so much. I know you are a fantastic wife :)

Jen said...

Hey I have that book All He Ever Wanted. I'll read it while you are gone and we can compare notes. If you need me, I'll be at your house, eating your food and floating in your pool.

Katie said...

Kristy, I enjoyed this entry so much!! Your thoughts on marriage were great and that book sounds very intersting. Thanks for being such a good example. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

kelly mccasland said...

Kristy -
I just finished Sea Glass by Anita Shreve the other night, and it was okay. I have heard that the Pilot's Wife is her best piece yet.
I enjoyed your comments, and now I want to read that book even more. Someone's creativity is someone's reality.

We are in our house - I'll post when we get our phone hooked up.

kelly

Supabloggasuprememama said...

I would sit in Jim's marriage counseling class and naively think that nothing like that could ever happen to jamin and i. but as the years have come and gone already I have realized that if you dont work at it, really really work at it, it can be easy for one or another to slip into inappropriate behavior, etc. I also remember Jim saying "sometimes youwill feel like two ships passing in thenight" in reference to being so busy. And with a baby thrown in the mix...WOW. It's so true! It takes alot of work! And it makes it all the better. I am so glad you have found patrick. Ya'll are wonderful together and I know God has truly blessed you yay! call me when you get back so we can hang...missed you this week!