In the Unlikely Event
By Judy Blume
How many of you women have fond memories as a tween girl, giggling with your friends at the latest slumber party, holding a dog-eared copy of the much loved Judy Blume novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
I know that I do. A novel, treasured and coveted, that taught many life lessons within its pages.
Thank goodness for us, she now writes adult novels as well.
A historical fiction novel, In the Unlikely Event visits the unusual and chaotic events of 3 separate plane crashes occurring in the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey in the 1950’s.
Judy Blume is able to lend some authentication within the pages of this novel because she happened to be a teenager living in Elizabeth when the events took place. The characters and their stories in the book are fiction, however Judy was able to lend authenticity to the emotions and repercussions of the accidents because she was there during that time.
I cannot even begin to imagine the fear that would run through a small town after not 1 or 2, but THREE airplane crashes; especially since aircraft was still a fairly new phenomenon.
Children had nightmares, families moved, women and men vowed to never fly on an airplane again and lives were changed forever after they witnessed the crashes along with the aftermath.
As we follow Miri, her family and friends through the impact these crashes had on their lives, we learn about first love, old love, anger, growing up, unexplained tragedy, mental illness, family and how secrets can affect not only your own life but those around you. We learn what it is like being a single mother, being an only child without a father, what it is like to be wealthy and what it is like to barely be able to pay the bills.
We learn that life does not always turn out how we imagine it or how we would like it to.
In true Judy Blume fashion, there is some adult content in the book; not a lot but enough that you need to be aware that it is in there.
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read. I enjoy learning about historical events but still being able to lose myself in the fiction story of a novel. Judy Blume did a good job penning a work of fiction that you can get invested in all while intertwining the historical events during the early 1950’s. The book is not a work of amazing literature, but it would make a wonderful summer beach read.
“No,” Rusty said. “Enough is enough. She’s too young to understand. None of us can make sense of it–how can you expect a young girl to?”
“Not by sweeping it under the rug and pretending it didn’t happen,” Henry said.