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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

In the Unlikely Event


Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 6/2/2015

Format: Audio

My Rating: 4 Stars

In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times # 1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such asAre You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.

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 that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, 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 vintage Judy Blume, with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume’s unparalleled storytelling, and full of memorable characters who cope with loss, remember the good times and, finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going.

About the Author

Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 85 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-two languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.

Judy has completed a series of four chapter books -- The Pain & the Great One -- illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson. She has co-written and produced a film adaptation of her book Tiger Eyes, and her new novel, In the Unlikely Event, will be released June 2, 2015.

Judy and her husband George Cooper live on islands up and down the east coast. They have three grown children and one grandchild. Website Twitter Goodreads Judy's Blog

My Review

Judy Blume returns with her adult novel IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT, as we revisit the fifties, with an event which changes the course of lives. If you are from this era, you will appreciate some of conversations in the heart-warming novel. At its novel's center is a real-life event occurring in Blume’s hometown of Elizabeth, NJ in the early 1950s, when three planes fell from the sky over a three month period. Readers hear from a variety of characters, whose stories span generations, as each person tells a story, an experience, all affected by this experience. Bridging the gap from young to old. In the Unlikely Event is more of a coming-of age story, as Blume focuses a young girl who is fifteen years old. Miri is the daughter of a single mother and along with her mother, stays with her uncle and grandmother under the same roof. It was a little confusing listening to the audio with so many characters. Each, coping in different ways. During this time the characters experience grief, and of course life as it has to go on from friendship, insecurities, dreams, divorce, careers, estranged parents, and first loves. A compelling read, of life changing events, stories, and secrets. For generations, Judy Blume has told stories, and a nice tribute for all the generations of readers and listeners. A solid adult novel full of depth and humanity. I listened to the audiobook, and as always, Kathleen McInerney delivers a pleasant performance.

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