Author(s): Judy Blume
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 as Are 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.
Early reviewers have already weighed in: "Like many family stories, this one is not without its life-changing secrets and surprises. There is no surprise that the book is smoothly written, and its story compelling. The setting--the early 1950s--is especially well realized through period references and incidents." --Booklist (starred review) and "In Blume's latest adult novel . . . young and old alike must learn to come to terms with technological disaster and social change. Her novel is characteristically accessible, frequently charming and always deeply human." --Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
A beautifully drawn, deeply moving, unforgettable novel from one of the world's most beloved and bestselling authors.
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 Guardian A thoroughly beguiling story of love, loss and carrying on regardless ... period-perfect detail ... irresistible Mail on Sunday 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 Long-term Blume fans will be instantly at home in the company of the novel's plucky heroine, Miri ... She has her eye on people, and her work resonates because she uses clean, accessible prose to sketch characters who are convincingly conflicted ... She continues to hold out a warm, fallible hand to help us face the music and dance Daily Telegraph Judy Blume isn't just revered, she's revolutionary ... Blume, whose fiction for adults has the same emotional immediacy as her books for children, makes us feel the pure shock and wonder of living New York Times Reading In the Unlikely Event in adulthood is like reconnecting with a long-lost friend ... The novel rivals Tolstoy or Ferrante in its number of characters, families, and ... emotionally resonant and down-to-earth at once ... In the Unlikely Event confronts the fact that as we grow up, the unexpected - tragedies, accidents, death, mysteries - becomes another kind of ordinary. You've been learning that on your own all these years; now, reading this, having Judy Blume guide you through it once again is deeply reassuring The New Yorker In The Unlikely Event gives us everything Blume is known (and beloved) for - the fierce, fraught nature of young relationships, the comfort and confines of cultural identity, the messiness and joys of the body - and takes it to a new level. This novel - Blume's fourth for adults - is her most ambitious to date, and she lives up to its reach with her characteristic frankness, compassion and charm San Francisco Chronicle Blume succeeds in capturing the condition of an entire community ... No one captures coming-of-age milestones and stomach butterflies like Blume ... When the story is over, it's Miri's voice - her wise observations, her surprisingly adult perspectives, and her humour - that you miss Boston Globe Blume's ability to tell a compelling story and create memorable characters of all ages is as strong as ever ... her old fans won't be disappointed by this quietly sensational story. -- Anna Carey, Books to Pack This Summer Irish Times In the Unlikely Event, about a fifteen-year-old's first forays into letters and love, has [Blume's] signature warm, personal touch. -- Megan O'Grady, The Best Beach Reads Summer 2015 Vogue Everything we love about Judy Blume's young adult novels is found in her latest book for grown-ups in spades: a large cast of memorable characters, the ability to perfectly capture into words the feelings of youth (and beyond), and the vivid capturing of time and place. -- Lynsey Eidell, The Hottest Beach Reads This Summer Glamour [Blume] delivers a story as candid and heart-wrenching as her influential YA books ... Both Blume's lifers and newcomers will appreciate In the Unlikely Event, which respects tragedy without neglecting lightheartedness in that special way only Judy Blume knows how to do. -- Caroline Goldstein, 13 of June's 2015's Best Books That Are The Perfect Summer Escape Bustle
Judy Blume is one of America's most beloved authors. She grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was a teenager in 1952 when the real events in this book took place. She has written books for all ages. Her twenty-eight previous titles include Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Forever; and Summer Sisters. Her books have sold more than eighty-five million copies in thirty-two languages. She is a champion of intellectual freedom, working with the National Coalition Against Censorship in support of writers, teachers, librarians, and students. In 2004, Blume was awarded the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Key West and New York City.