April 2, 2010

Review: Love in Mid Air

By Kim Wright
Available now from Hachette (Grand Central Publishing)
Review copy

Book Cover

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.

This is part of a blog tour. Today's other participants are:


  1. What a poignant (half)review! I think what you're feeling in regards to wanting to get on with your life but also worrying about what the future holds is common to so many young women. I think as a rule, women do "stay" for a variety of reasons, regardless of whether children are involved - and they stay in jobs, marriages, friendships, etc. I believe part of our general makeup is to want to make things work and to place the onus on ourselves to making them work. But in reality, staying can be the weaker choice; leaving is work, too, and it takes guts. Never be afraid to leave.

  2. Hi Liviana:

    Wow, I hope I didn't depress you too much! I didn't write the book to imply that this is what happens in all marriages...just that this is what some marriages come down to and that once you get past the "point of no return" it can be hard for a woman to get the man's attention enough for counseling or any other attempt to retrieve the marriage to really work.

    I hope you'll keep reading. I honestly believe the book has a happy ending. Maybe not the traditional "man and woman walk into the sunset holding hands" sort of happy ending, but a chance for Elyse to make a new beginning. Either way, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog!



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