In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume (2015)


Judy Blume is famous for her children’s book, which makes sense, as she has only written 4 adult books, and it had been two decades since her bestseller Summer Sisters. In the Unlikely Event is Blume’s historical novel about 3 planes crashes within 3 months in Elizabeth, NJ in the 1950s. Blume lived through this experience, and more than 60 years later, wrote about them, through the eyes of a sweeping cast of characters. The characters are well written, and for the most part interesting, however attempting to cover how these sundry characters handle the triple tragedies is a large feat, and falls a bit short. Writing this story, following one family, and one crash would have been an intense story, but I feel that Blume stretched thin at occasion. Certain characters, such as Miri and her mother Rusty Ammerman, are well developed and feel real; others remain one dimensional. Each section is written as the semi-omniscient voice of an individual character, switching back and forth. Some of the highlights of the book include the point of view of an individual on each of the doomed flights. Blume excels at recreating the world of the 1950s, and as always, the thoughts of a teenage girl. At 397 pages, I would recommend this book to readers that have the time to read and finish the book in short order, as a holiday read. However, it would be easy to lose track if one were to step away from the book for any length of time, and would feel daunting to revisit. 

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