In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Publishing Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 416 pages
Coming of Age/Family Life Fiction
The Premise: The story is based on the true events of a series of plane crashes that occurred in Elizabeth, NJ within a three-month period in 1951-1952. Judy Blume grew up in Elizabeth and these events have been on her mind for a while because they struck fear in the lives of many and the fact that they were all happening was quite “incomprehensible” at the time. Blume utilizes this setting to deliver a story that follows a wide range of characters and how they were affected by the events of the plane crash. The story tackles a wide range of issues such as family, friendships, love relationships while showing perspectives of many generations.
My overall thoughts and review: Growing up, I was a big fan of Judy Blume, I loved Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I found her writing so easy to follow and the story immediately invites you in. I also remember browsing my high-school library in grade 9 and coming across a beautiful cover with a flower on it and that was my second Blume book ever: Forever. And again, I had the same feelings of what I felt with the first book. These past few weeks, I've had that experience again: falling in love with Judy Blume's writing. I was away on conference so it took me some time to finish this book, but every page is wrapped up in so much detail that it was hard to put down. The story covers a wide range of characters and it is so wonderful the way Blume has set up the chapters with a newspaper piece to preface the chapter and then the book weaves into the many perspectives of different characters. I will have to say that my favorite perspective of all to read from was definitely Miri. I loved Miri so much and just seeing her grow and change as time progressed in the book, it felt like seeing a sister grow up. I also really loved how self-aware she was when it came to relationships with her mother and estranged father. She was an incredibly caring individual and she definitely reminded me of the characters I loved so much in Blume's other books.
I think tackling the subject of these plane crashes was so special because 1) I did not even know that these plane crashes had occurred (this informs those who did not know) and 2) and what Blume does is not memorialize the event, but rather draws attention to it and offers perspectives for those who may or may not have been affected by the events directly. She offers such a wide range in the book when it comes to characters, that it is easy to find someone that you can empathize with. There wasn't any one-dimensional character and every one had so much growth to them and it felt like they all had their voices within the novel and they were so distinct. This book was an easy five stars and I finished the book wanting more of everyone's story. I would highly recommend this for fans of Judy Blume, this is another to add to your favorites shelf. But also, I would highly recommend this to anyone that would like a book, so inviting, that tackles a difficult subject of plane crashes, but ultimately leaves you feeling like you've just met a bunch of good friends.
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of this book was sent to me by Random House Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.