review · U.S. · USA Fiction Challenge

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

unlikely eventIn the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Knopf, June 2015

I borrowed the book from the library.

Some authors have earned such a tremendous amount of goodwill from me, I’m willing to try their new books even after a long gap. (But I’m not sure that I’m ready to read Go Set A Watchman.) I’m fairly certain I’ve read almost every Judy Blume novel since I was 9 or 10, and while I don’t remember her adult novels so clearly, her books for kids are super-memorable.

In the Unlikely Event is a story sort of based on Judy Blume’s life: she grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the flight-path of Newark International Airport, in the 1950’s during the time of a major plane crash. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say as much because the cover is pretty on-the-nose.

Blume’s stand-in is Miri, a teenager living with her single mother and her grandmother in the apartment downstairs. There’s a large cast of characters surrounding Miri: her friends, her family, and several other people in Elizabeth, so there are stories about the plane crash from many perspectives. It’s a coming-of-age story with the background of dealing with a horrible plane crash in her neighborhood, and Blume’s strength is in creating realistic characters. Some aren’t totally fleshed out because her focus is on a teenage girl who doesn’t know everything about older people’s lives, but that’s not a problem with the story.

I really liked this book: I could tell that it was a story that wasn’t just dashed off, and it didn’t tell stories about a tragedy just for the sake of drama.

I’m counting this as my entry for New Jersey for the USA Fiction Challenge. It’s a reading challenge I’ve been neglecting this year, but I hope to make more progress before the end of the year.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

  1. Oh, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one, Rebecca! I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I’m not surprised you think fondly of Judy Blume; her novels have been an important part of a lot of young people’s lives.

  2. Big fan of Blume but haven’t read everything. I bought this one too and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading it.

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