In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.
Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume imagines and weaves together a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters. She paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
In the Unlikely Event is a gripping novel with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume’s unparalleled storytelling.
I always associate Judy Blume with YA books, and didn't realize this was geared to a much wider audience. Based on true facts and events, the story is so attention grabbing, so well told, that the reader does not want to put this one down. I was up very late two nights in a row finishing this one. The characters are instantly accepted and believable, and the riveting story takes the reader on a true roller coaster of emotions. It definitely is a book that would make a great Christmas gift for readers from 13 to 100. For those of us who grew up in the post-war era of the 50's it's a true treat.
Title: In the Unlikely Event
Author: Judy Blume
Publisher: Knopf (2015), Edition: First Edition, 416 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Subject: Emotional trauma
Setting: New Jersey
Source: Public library
Why did I read this book now? It's being considered for the Maine Readers' Choice Award and I'm on the selection committee.