An Accidental Book Club selection, In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume was an interesting read. I liked it more once I was about half way through and then I couldn’t put it down. The book introduces about twenty characters, which allows us to see each person’s perspective during one particularly tragic year for a little town named Elizabeth. I was getting overwhelmed and lost in the names and their relations. When I have to try too hard, my brain fights it – I spent many nights passing out after reading 2 pages….sometimes, 2 paragraphs.
Once my brain figured out who was who, I could see a little more clearly what Judy Blume was doing. There are definitely a few main characters (a family of characters) and it seems as though everyone else had some sort of connection to this one family. We’re all linked, really, if you think about it.
I’m not sure if it’s because of Judy Blume’s past but I couldn’t help thinking, at times, I was reading young adult fiction. Not all the time, as there was definitely some adult content. There was just something about it that I can’t put my finger on.
What I did enjoy was seeing the change is perspective and attitude over the characters’ lifespan. You sometimes forget how tragedy can affect people so differently, depending on age, family life, your personality and, once again, perspective. The novel covers the unlikely events of passenger planes crashing into a small town in New Jersey and how it effects the lives of the people in the town of Elizabeth, as well as, the family and friends of the passengers in the planes. How blessed I am to not have lived in a town where multiple planes crashed (as Judy Blume had as a child, as it turns out). The funny thing is, I used to wonder if people living by an airport worried about this exact scenario. I think I would, which is probably why I don’t live by an airport. In fact, the closest one is about 1 hour away. Perfect.
So not only is Blume telling the story of grief, healing and moving on but she touches on something more, like the importance of love and forgiveness. I can’t wait to talk to my Accidental Book Club people about this book. I find the idea of personal opinions fascinating. How can one person like something and another doesn’t? We’ll find out!
By the way, I don’t recommend reading this on a plane.
Thanks, Fernie Heritage Library, for lending me the book!
And that’s in my uneducated opinion.