Available now from Hachette (Grand Central Publishing)
To be honest, I haven't finished this book yet. I like the premise - Elyse is married to a good man, but she hasn't truly been happy for some time when she meets another man on an airplane. To paraphrase something I heard recently, "Cheating is always black and white. It's wrong. But the circumstances around it are nuanced." Elyse has tried. She's made therapy appointments, she talks to her friends. Yet nothing changes the fact her marriage has failed.
So why haven't I finished it yet? Because it took me a long time to reach the part where Elyse chooses to pursue her own happiness and thus starts an affair with Gerry. (At least, I assume that's where she begins choosing her own happiness. She is still married.)
Right now, I've been having a hellish semester. I am extremely eager to be done with college and actually working, but at the same time I'm apprehensive. I've been going to school since I was five or so. Yes, I'm tired of it, but it's a known quantity.
And part of getting out of school isn't just getting and job but moving on with my life and becoming a true adult, if there is such a thing. The beginning of LOVE IN MID AIR is one of the most depressing looks at marriage ever. Kim Wright writes:
"What she means," Nancy says patiently, as patient as a saint, "is that in novels women run off with their lovers. In real life, women stay."
"Women stay" becomes a refrain. To me, it's a terrifying one. I don't want to stay in a situation that doesn't make me happy. I know I might. I know other people do. It's a very cynical worldview, and I am too young to be that cynical.
Of course, one of the reasons women stay is their children. For instance, Elyse has elementary-aged Tory, who gets along wonderfully with their father and whom she wonders about, how much she knows about her mother's discontent. The answer, from a girl with divorced parents who has spoken to many of her peers: We know. Your children know that you're unhappy. Sometimes we need to be twelve or so to get it, but we do. You don't make us happy by making yourself unhappy.
I'm still reading LOVE IN MID AIR. And I'm going to keep washing it down with happy-go-lucky romances for balance.
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