On Sunday I finished In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. This was her first adult novel published in 17 years and according to an article in Vanity Fair Judy Blume said
“I can’t imagine writing another novel,”; “Of course I said the same thing after Summer Sisters. I meant it then. But I think I mean it more now. I feel good about that,” she adds. “I feel elated about that. And at 77 I think that’s O.K.”
I can’t believe this may be her last book. An author we all grew up with. Whether you read her books or not; I’m sure you heard of them. She wrote books such as Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Blubber, and Summer Sisters; just to name a few. Judy Blume is known for using her own experiences to drive a story and that’s exactly what she did in this book.
In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.
Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place — Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
Blume intertwines fact and fiction throughout the entire book because this is something she experienced. In the 1950s three airplanes crashed in the town of Elizabeth, NJ where Judy Blume is from within 58 days. Blume began writing this book in 2009 and completed it in 2014. I really liked this book. It tells one story through the perspective of a bunch of different characters, but it never takes away from the story. Each person is going through different things in their life, but at the something they are all experiencing the same tragedy.
“Life is a series of unlikely events, isn’t it? Hers certainly is. One unlikely event after another, adding up to a rich, complicated whole. And who knows what’s still to come?”
Now this book isn’t for everyone. The characters in this book are fictional but very relatable. If you’re looking for something super fast paced and action packed then this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a good fiction to take your mind off the craziness that is day to day life then pick this book up. Give it a try and let me know what you think about it. Follow these characters as they get past tragedy and move on with their lives. The quote above is one of my favorites because it made me realize that life really is a series of unlikely events and we have the power to change or add new ones everyday.