Judy Blume's New Book 'In the Unlikely Event' Is Based on Real Events, and We Can All Barely Contain Ourselves
She taught us all about scoliosis, getting your period, and losing your virginity, but now she's tackling her first adult fiction book in more than 16 years. Judy Blume's new book In the Unlikely Event will join Wifey, Smart Women, and (my personal all-time favorite) Summer Sisters in her adult lit canon, and she just released new details on the plot. But first, the answer you're all dying to know: the book is due out in June 2015.
In the Unlikely Event takes place against the backdrop of real-life events in Blume's hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey during late 1951 and early 1952. A series of passenger planes crashed in the town over a short three-month period, and Blume has said the tragedies have "lingered in [her] mind ever since." Her new novel will dig deep into three generations of families, friends, and strangers who were affected by the crashes. Blume told The Guardian that she has been researching In the Unlikely Event since 2009, and that it was the most fun she has ever had writing.
It’s based on a series of tragedies in the town I lived in when I was growing up, and the terrible time it was for the adults and the children, although the adults never talked to the children about it, no one I know had an adult talk to them about it, so we invented scenarios of what this all meant ... And at the same time, life goes on, you go to school, you meet a boy, you fall in love, all the time that this is happening.
Blume also pulled from other true stories from her own personal life to write her new book. Blume was married before she graduated college and had two children by the time she was 25, she told The Guardian. One of In the Unlikely Event's main characters has a baby right after high school and she never tells the father.
I come back to that again and again – what if, what if — it could so easily happen ... It was a very scary idea that you could get pregnant, and three of the best girls in my school were pregnant, at graduation, and it changed their lives. There was no abortion, you know. Yes, some girls got shipped to Aunt Betty's house in the country and came back without a baby, and some girls had a hasty marriage.
Blume's publisher at Alfred A. Knopf also promises the same heart that made us all fall in love with the author when we were younger: It's pure Judy Blume, writing about family and about friendships, about love, about betrayal," he said. "It's quintessential Judy."
Needless to say, all of June 2015 already has big red hearts scribbled all around it on our calendars.