A beautiful, deeply moving, unforgettable novel from one of the world's most beloved and best-selling authors.
She held the baby close, feeling the warmth of his little body, kissing his soft cheek. He looked right into her eyes. Outside the window, the wing broke away from the plane. Then they were falling...falling diagonally out of the sky.
When three planes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, within the space of three months in the early 1950s, Newark airport was closed for a year. Each of these disasters was devastating not only for those onboard but also for the close-knit community of people on the ground.
In Elizabeth the plane crashes open up new wounds and mysteries - they bring some families together and tear others apart. But somehow life continues - and amid grief and loss, hope and love survive.
Inspired by real events, Judy Blume uses her imagination to interweave the stories of three generations of families, friends and strangers whose lives are forever changed in the aftermath. In the Unlikely Event is a captivating, deeply moving and unforgettable novel, written with the same warmth and authenticity that have won the hearts and minds of readers the world over for decades.
©2015 Judy Blume (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
"A major event... utterly brilliant... Never mind what she has done before: it feels as if this is the book she has been waiting her whole life to write. And it is, quite simply, extraordinary... There’s a wonderful Mad Men feel to the detail of the period... The action is always undercut with Blume’s trademark humanity and humour... Blume’s fans - old and new - will approve." (Observer)
"In The Unlikely Event is Judy Blume’s first book for adults in more than 15 years and before the end of the first chapter you’ll be breathing a happy sigh that the wait is over... Judy Blume is fantastic at assembling a cast of characters so clearly drawn that you’d recognise them in the street and so real that you care deeply about each of them after only a few lines... For those of us who grew up alongside Blume’s beloved teenage characters, this book is a welcome homecoming." (Sunday Express)
"A great portrait of an era... Blume’s hallmark warmth and humanity shine through and there is a loveliness to this novel in its depths of philanthropy and human understanding. It leaves the reader longing to meet the author for a soul-lifting heart-to-heart. The fairy godmother is alive and well." (Joanna Briscoe, Guardian)
"Offers readers the classic Blume experience – a nuanced portrayal of the everyday intricacies of love and friendship but set against a backdrop of extraordinary tragedy... In the Unlikely Event is comfort reading at its most soothing, the turn of its pages like sitting down with a beloved, long-lost friend." (Independent)
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"Wonderful story, beautifully narrated"
Beautifully told story of the people whose lives would be forever changed by the tragic plane crashes. The atmospheric setting of the Fifties so perfectly captured, and characters so real it was hard to believe they were all fictional.
Kathleen McInerney was fantastic and brought the characters to life. She greatly added to my enjoyment of this book
A wee bit of both - but mainly it made me to ponder deeply about the experiences and reactions of the people involved, and recollect the stories of that time from my parents.
As a teenager I loved reading Judy Blume books, and I can now only hope she writes many more books for adults as she has such a wonderful understanding of human relationships and our day to day lives. This story was obviously close to her heart, having lived through the plane crashes herself, and the characters were so authentic I fell sure they must be based on people she knew.
"Brilliant book by a favourite childhood author"
I always read Judy Blume as a child and this took be back to then.
"Slice of 50's based on real tragedy"
What a great story that is based on three aeroplane crashes? Sounds awful but the amazing storytelling brings the characters in 1950's American to life. Anachronistic references were so interesting. Highly recommend.
"Ok but hard to keep up sometimes"
While i understand and sympathise with the fact that this novel contains alot of fact with the plane crashes i have to admit i found it hard to keep up with about half way into it.
I didnt really like the characters and the ones i thought were ok i soon got bored of and it felt like it dragged out alot 2/3 's into the story.
the actual narration was good, voice was soothing.
Im gutted i didnt like this book as i was always a huge Judy Blume fan in my youth but then you cant like everything!
"A nice comfortable book"
loosely based on a true story I enjoyed this book. I wouldn't describe it as a page Turner I couldn't put down but I liked the characters and narration and wanted to find out what happened and was happy to do so at my own pace as I am a busy person. at the start it was a little difficult to keep up with the many different characters but it soon falls into place.
"Unbelievable - If it wasn't true!"
Yes - for period interest - No if you want them to get in a plane again.
The period detail - being a teenager in the early 1950s, as well as the tale of a community in shock, pulling together and trying to put on a united front..
Not really. It sometimes felt like listening to an elderly relative's rambling tale about people you don't know. Stay with it - their relationship to the main families in the story eventually becomes clear, although I often wished I'd got the book in my hand to flick back and remind myself who these people were.
My daughters loved Judy Blume's teen books when they were growing up, so I was keen to read something for myself. In many ways, this felt like a book aimed at her usual audience. Told mainly through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl, all the usual issues were there; love, sex, fashion, friends, sleepovers, dances, school, Family troubles etc etc, but with the tragic backdrop of the plane crashes. I would have preferred a bit more from an adult view point. I loved the period detail in fashion and manners. My only real criticism is that it could have ended at least 45 minutes earlier. I don't know what this equates to in pages, but at the end, it felt like the author was just filling up the pages she'd promised to her publisher. Perhaps it was cathartic to tie up all the loose ends so neatly. It's an amazing story, and I'm glad Judy Blume has written it down otherwise I would never have believed such a thing could happen.
"This is a Young Adult Book"
This is a Young Adult Book not an adult book. I loved Judy Blume's books as a child. But this book doesn't rate as an adult book. I think it is a missed opportunity not to have classed it as YA because the book shows how much has changed for women since the 1950's. Many a young woman would call herself a feminist if she was reminded what feminists have achieved since then. This is not a political book at all.
"Interweaving Storylines based on Real Life Events"
Unlikely but Believable.
My favourite character was Rusty. I liked the fact that her past and present stories were both covered and, as a mother, could identify with her.
I haven't heard any of Kathleen McInerney's other performances.
When Mason rescued the stewardess.
At first I found that the brief introductions to the many characters were a little confusing, but as the story developed, I felt I got to know them. Judy Blume did a great job (as I remember from my childhood) of developing the characters. I was surprised to find that this was based on real life events as I spent most of the book thinking that it was rather unbelievable.
"Too many characters and ultimately disappointing"
I'm glad I read it as no doubt it will be one of those books that is talked about, simply because of who the author is. I listen while working so it doesn't overly bother me if a book isn't hugely gripping as long as I can get through it but with this one I was just waiting for it to finish.
I grew up on Judy Blume through my teenage years in the 90s and was so excited to read her work now, however it didn't meet my expectations. She is an excellent author but I just struggled with this book. I even stopped listening at one point and came back to it a few weeks later determined to finish!
There are so many characters in this book - I couldn't begin to keep them straight in my mind. Some are introduced just to be killed off! I guess it would make a better mini series than a movie simply because of this reason. Either way I think the number of characters would need to be reduced.
Like Cloud Atlas and The Goldfinch I got through it but wouldn't listen again!!
I wasn't sure how the book would suit me, not understanding how the story would be told. (Quite an unusual subject!) But I thoroughly enjoyed it, got into the characters and their lives. Another triumph for Judy Bloom
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