Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event is about three plane crashes in eight weeks and the effect of such trauma on the citizens of the small town of Elizabeth where the novel (and ‘real’ historical experience) is set.
I say it’s about the effect of the trauma on the citizens, and I do think it’s meant to be about that, but it mostly reads like a novel that wants to describe three plane crashes and then looks for characters to justify this plot. Continue reading
I think after years of hearing about how I should read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and years of loving Judy Blume, the book itself could only ever disappoint me just a little bit. I mean, I’d already decided that it was THE book for young adult women, even though I didn’t know anything about it.
So yes. I was a little disappointed. I appreciated that the book took on menstruation like it wasn’t something to be horrified by (even though bodies are represented in the text as something alien, independent any maybe out to get you), and made me wish I’d read that part when I was a younger person. Though perhaps that unabashed celebration made the book read as a bit false? (or is it just the case that I was always a little horrified by what my body did/does?) The scene of Margaret buying her first bra with her mother is perfect. The humiliation and excitement are done so well. Ask me about my first bra sometime and I’ll tell you a story.
The God bits are fine. Young girl tries to work out religion. Though Margaret doesn’t ask any actually interesting questions about religion, it’s neat that she embarks on the little journey to find out whether religion is something she wants in her life: a kind of self-reflective questioning we might all do well to practice more of.
So why then disappointed? Because it was somehow *smaller* in scope then I’d imagined. It’s really a disappointment that has to do with inflated expectation and not at all the fault of the book. So those defenders of Judy Blume, relax. Blame me.