1950’s Elizabeth, New Jersey is hit with not one, not two plane crashes, but three plane crashes within months of each other. Granted, I didn’t know what the book was about saved for it’s about a tragedy that this town has to live through, but I wasn’t expecting plane crashes to be the tragedy.
We are introduced to the characters in the book before the first plane crash: Miri, 15, Natalie, a few years old and a wanna-be dancer, Daisey, assistant in Dr. Osner’s dental office, Steve, senior in high school, Mason, Miri’s boyfriend (senior high school), Catherine, high school age, etc., etc., There are a gang of characters in this book that it’s hard to keep up at times; both kids and adults and those entering adulthood.
WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES
As I’m reading the book I’m wondering what the tragedy could have been during that time from of 1952 (the Korean war was going on and it wasn’t long after WW II ended in 1945).
Then the first plane crash happened and it put a bit of twist in the book because now you have to see how everyone is going to handle/react to the plane crash, and this is what I love about Blume…she draws you into her characters that you want to call them and make sure they are OK.
Just when you have lived through the first plane crash with them another one takes places place about a month or so after the first one. Blume incorporates actually news articles written about the crash into the book and it’s interesting to read how people wrote back then. This is another aspect of Blume’s books I like, she has a way of transporting you to the time period she is writing about.
I’m going to divert for a bit regarding the time period. As mentioned, this is during the early 1950’s and I didn’t think much about the time period until one of the characters (I believe it’s Catherine) decides she wants to become a stewardess for TWA and two things the jobs requires besides having that Hollywood look is to be between 5’2 and 5’6 and…get this one…you have to be white. This took me back a bit, but then I had to remember the time frame of the story.
I believe Blume was pointing this out as showing how ridiculous things were back then when it came to race without being over the top about it. Her subtle mention of it, I liked, but it didn’t make me angry at all, I just forgot the time frame, for the quick second, how things were back then.
KEEP COMING BACK
This is another one of my favorite Blume books I could read again and again. I had to let the number of plane crashes go and just concentrate on the characters and things going on their lives and man, is there plenty going on or what? I’m not going to say what’s going on for I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but let’s just say my jaw dropped a few times during the course of the book.
I like the way book ended with you feeling like you know these people personally and want to call them up to see how they are doing. Some lives ended good and some didn’t. I changed my one star on Goodreads to four stars (not sure why I didn’t give it five stars when I’m basically giving it five stars here..hmmm).
This book, I highly recommend to any and everyone. I don’t think anyone can call themselves a reader without reading a Judy Blume book (and age does not matter AT ALL!), I don’t care which one it is……yeah I do..start with Summer Sisters, but make sure to read In An Unlikely Event. Oh yeah, I forgot to add, you’ll find out later in the book why the book titled that.
I am so looking forward to Blume’s next book.
You can read more about the plane crashes that took place in Elizabeth, NJ (Blume’s hometown) HERE
You can purchase In The Unlikely Event from Amazon or Barnes and Noble (hard copy or download)
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Release Date: 2 June 2016