#5 – Judy Blume has a new book for adults

Is the scene of Margaret running out of the confessional crying forever impressed on your memory? Did you build up the courage to ask your mom to buy you a bra after reading and rereading how awkwardly Margarett handled the whole thing in “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.”

Adolescents wouldn’t have been the same without Judy Blume. Naturally we’re asking, how is adulthood going to change with the release of Blume’s new adult novel: “In The Unlikely Event.”

For millions of people, Judy Blume’s books, which touch upon often taboo topics such as racism, bullying and sex, are both beloved and banned. Now she’s back with an adult book for the readers she touched all those years ago.

“This week, Judy Blume, friend of our youth, published ‘In the Unlikely Event,’ her first novel for adults in seventeen years. The novel is based on real-life unlikely events: three plane crashes that took place in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Blume’s home town, in the winter of 1951-1952.”

The story centers around high school freshman Miri Ammerman, a young Jewish girl who lives with her single mom Rusty. Her life and community are shaken by three successive plane crashes, when everything seems to change. The community comes together to search for the reason behind the crashes.

Blume worked on the story for five years, and it is her first novel that required outside research. She relied heavily on newspaper stories from the events, some of which are quite poetic: “a plane breaks in half like a swollen cream puff, a plane comes down like an angry, wounded bird.”

Here’s an interview Blume did with CBS about the novel.

The novel is receiving extraordinary feedback from the New York Times to The Guardian.

“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.”

We loved this NPR interview with Blume. Check it out here.

Everyone seems to say that reading the novel brings you back to those days when you were curled up on your bed, devouring Blume novel after Blume novel. We’re not in middle school anymore, and we’re so glad Blume has grown up with us and given us another page turner to read and contemplate.

“There are all the old familiar details—the organdy skirts, the finished basements, the lingerie-shopping trips—and cadences. The more you read, the more memories of your old intimacy come back.”

“Blume is always kind to her readers; the suffering her characters experience feels real but never cruel, never melodramatic. She’s straightforward and easy to read; her sentences are direct, her paragraphs heavy on dialogue. Her books’ accessibility can create the impression that they’re simple—they’re deftly crafted, and she’s done the hard work for us. For a young person, this style is irresistible and comforting. It is for an adult, too.”

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