Review: In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Title: In the Unlikely Event

Author: Judy Blume

Published: PanMacmillan June 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from June 02 to 04, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

As a young girl, I devoured everything written by Judy Blume, from Superfudge to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Forever as well as her adult novels Smart Women, Wifey, despite the fact I wasn’t yet even a teenager. I remember being excited when her third adult novel, Summer Sisters, was published in 1998 and seventeen years later we finally have a fourth and, Judy Blume herself confesses, her last, In the Unlikely Event.

While the tone and style of Blume’s writing remains remarkably familiar, the subject of this novel is quite different from what some may expect. Inspired by a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within a three-month period in 1951–1952, the author brings to life three generations of families, friends, and strangers, who are all profoundly affected by these events, either directly or indirectly.

While Blume employs multiple points of view in the narrative it is teenager Miri Ammerman who has the strongest voice. Against the background of such frightening community tragedy, Miri struggles with the typical trials of adolescence, such as identity, friendship, family and first love. Meanwhile her Uncle Henry makes his name as the journalist who covers the incidents, her best friend, Natalie, is haunted by a plane crash victim, and an elderly man mourning his wife beds down on her grandmother’s couch. The large cast may be off-putting to some readers but I felt the the varied perspectives enriched the narrative.

Blume successfully brings to life the facts surrounding the New Jersey plane crashes, honouring the real life victims of the tragedies. She authentically evokes the era that heralded social change in America, exploring issues such as changing morality and political unrest.

Written with genuine compassion and insight, and with finely drawn characterisation, In the Unlikely Event is an engaging story of life’s ordinary and extraordinary events.

Available to purchase from

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and all good bookstores.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cathy Powell
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 03:45:33

    Sounds fascinating Shelleyrae and I’m a big Judy Blume fan🙂 A must read I think…

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  2. mysm2000
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 04:05:59

    As a teacher, I read a lot of Judy Blume at school, and as a teenager, read some at home for even before that. Thoroughly enjoyed Summer Sisters and If Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries What am I Doing In The Pits This book, too, sounds like a keeper.

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  3. Kay
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 04:46:56

    I am so glad to hear your thoughts about this book. I’ve been wondering and was almost certain that I would try it. Now, I am certain. Interesting topic and also interesting that she says it is her last. Thanks!

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  4. laurelrainsnow
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 08:04:10

    I knew it had been a while since I last read this author’s novels, but wow, the eighties! No wonder I knew I had to get this book. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  5. Kate W
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 11:31:17

    Can’t wait to start this one. Like so many people, I grew up with Judy🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Danielle Binks
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 20:41:13

    Great review! I’m going to start reading this most-anticipated novel very, very soon!

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  7. Christina T
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 22:47:27

    I loved her books for teens but I’ve never tried her writing for adults. This sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Thanks for your review!

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  8. herschelian
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 00:28:43

    Have just finished reading this and really, really enjoyed it.
    JB’s characters are so well drawn. I really felt I was part of that community whilst reading.
    I was born in 1950 so I have childhood memories of what women’s clothes were like, the adverts, the rigid attitudes to teenage relationships and I think she got them spot on. Also, because my parents were British but living in central Africa, we had many plane journeys during the 50s, first on Dakotas then on the Comets which were the first jet airline, which ended up with an horrendous track record of crashes.
    You say that she says this will be her last book – what a shame, she is a terrific writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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