Friday, February 5, 2016

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

It's 1952 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. World War II has just ended and life in suburbia has just begun, but for residents of Elizabeth, New Jersey the shock and horror of previous years aren't over. In an unlikely event, three passenger planes enroute to Newark airport, crash in the small town of Elizabeth. In the Unlikely Event primarily tells the story of Miri Ammerman, a young woman, trying to figure out life as a teenager. Suddenly her world changes following the three unconnected plane crashes. Although much of the story is told through Miri, Judy Blume weaves together the lives and stories of three generations of family, friends, and strangers as they deal with first loves, marriages, and friendships. The story, which develops around the plane crashes, is so much more than that. It provides a glimpse into the lives of several families, often who try desperately to keep secrets hidden away. It's a close look at the early 1950s when things like sex, racial profiling, and mental illness were the secrets that stayed hidden.

In the Unlikely Event, is Judy Blume's third adult novel. Typically known for writing children's books Blume is as in her element with adult books. Though this is a work of historical fiction, Blume writes what she knows. Having grown up in Elizabeth, New Jersey,  witnessing the plane crashes she writes as if it all happened yesterday. It's hard not to see a little bit of Judy Blume in fifteen year old Miri Ammerman.