This week I finished The White Queen and In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Yes, THAT Judy Blume. The one and only Judy Blume.
Oh how I loved her books when I was a pre-teen. From Fudge to Tiger Eyes to Are You There God? It's me Margaret, I lived and breathed Judy Blume in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It came full circle when my two daughters both started reading some of Blume's "tamer" novels like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. And I was so happy to hear that they loved her writing just as much as I had at their age.
I was so excited that I finally got a copy of her newest book (and it's for adults too!!) In the Unlikely Event. I had been on the wait list for quite some time.
What a great story. In The Unlikely Event takes place in the early 1950s when the United States is dealing with the Korean War along with changing social mores. Miri Ammerman is the daughter of a single mother whose father left before she was born. Miri learns to negotiate a difficult adolescence with her loving family as they, and everyone in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, deal with the unexpected and unexplained rash of airplane crashes literally in their backyards.
3 planes fell from the sky over a 2 month period and changed the lives of thousands of people.
This story, while based on factual events is a work of fiction.
The story focuses on how several of the impacted characters deal with this tragedy and then ultimately life as they re-group years later.
The main female protagonist, Miri, is wonderfully developed and you can see the author's gift in creating rich and believable female teenage characters. The story is told from many points of view (over 20) and some of these characters are not as richly developed. One of my biggest challenges was getting engaged in the story early on with the POV continually changing
Many great descriptions of life in the 1950's are included -- from the music to the food to the current events. I really enjoyed reading about life back in the 1950's.
Reading Judy Blume as an adult did not give me the same feelings as when I was a child, but that's ok. I'm not the same person I was 30+ years ago. I grew up, and so did Judy.
Were you a Judy Blume fan as a child? Have you read any of her books as an adult?