In The Unlikely Event- Judy BlumeA book review by Adrienne Raczki
Set in small town New Jersey this novel examines the life and mind of Miri Ammerman, a 15 year old girl who’s teenage existence takes an unexpected turn in the winter of 1953. A succession of airplane disasters in the town of Elizabeth darkens its idyllic existence, revealing heroes and exposing secrets.
The characters in this long- awaited Judy Blume novel revolve around Miri, and are uniquely unveiled in their own layers, their own unfolding of this tale. We experience Miri’s first love, her best friend’s eating disorder and her own mother’s eventual explanation of Miri’s long-lost father.
The novel, although intended for adults, has a decidedly ‘young adult’ feel, washing over the tragic happenings with good ol’ fashioned 50s nostalgia. There are many characters that voice chapters, requiring the reader to remember names and happenings told from multiple perspectives, which I found made the story less enjoyable to read, and a touch convoluted.
True to Blume’s own genre (self-discovery of the teenage female), this book could have you reminiscing on your childhood, learning about the birds and bees in true “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” style.