Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright was one of those novels I describe to myself and others as addictive. It’s about a woman, Elyse, who is unhappy in her marriage and while on a plane trip home, meets a man that she finds herself extremely attracted to. She goes back and forth with herself on whether to pursue this interest even though she has a husband and daughter at home. Now I do have to say I don’t condone affairs yet this book and the character of Elyse are so much more than a woman just deciding to have an affair.
Elyse is approaching 40 and has been married for nine years. The problem is she made a mistake in marrying Phil and while she’s tried over the years to make it work, especially for their seven year old daughter Tory, she knows she’s fighting a losing battle. When Elyse met Phil she knew he wasn’t the normal type of man she went for but at the same time thought that because he wasn’t, their relationship might just work. He’s a good man, he’s provided her with a very comfortable lifestyle yet something has always been missing from this seemingly perfect world that really is more broken than perfect.
At first things seem ok but as time wears on and Elyse gets older she realizes just how unhappy she is. Her chance meeting on the plane with Gerry is just the clincher in something she already knew – that her marriage was over and nothing was going to change that. Elyse jumps into an affair with Gerry – it’s exciting, it’s different, and it’s fulfilling her in a way her marriage never did. She has no romantic notions about Gerry; she knows that he isn’t going to leave his wife for her. Yet that doesn’t seem to bother her; she shares all her thoughts and feelings with Gerry – in some ways I think this was healing for her as strange as that sounds. She even tries counseling with her husband Phil but this doesn’t change her feelings; really it only seems to make her more determined to end her marriage.
In Elyse’s world, women stay in marriages even if they aren’t completely happy. Really, who’s happy all the time? They get up each day and carry on with their routines throughout the day, go home – make supper and get the kids ready for bed. Another day over and yet did they find themselves really feeling happy at any time in that day? Elyse is tired of all that and in this novel she is very real and straight forward about it. She doesn’t make any apologies for her flaws or what she wants. She begins talking about it with her friends in her book club ultimately making everyone uncomfortable as they then have to step back and take a look at their own lives.
The author, Kim Wright, has a way of bringing her characters to life in a real and unflinching way. Nothing is sugar coated. I have never been married but have been in a long term relationship in which I felt very trapped. I could feel Elyse’s unhappiness and I don’t think it’s about her wanting something more exciting for her life. It’s about wanting something better, some reason to get up in the morning and look forward to the day and be happy about it. Elyse feels that Phil doesn’t see her and doesn’t listen to her. She needs to feel like she is somebody – somebody valuable. I get that. So while this book is about a marriage on the rocks and a woman wanting a divorce, you also need to look past that to the reasons behind it. To the woman wanting more for herself- Elyse.
We often wonder how things get to a point where there isn’t any turning back but they do and most often it creeps up on you. This novel is really quite intense and honest. How well do we really know anyone’s lives? We see people and think they’re happy – they seem happy but this isn’t always the case. What lies under the veneer of happiness is sometimes intense loneliness and unhappiness. Is it worth it to keep on and keep trying? That’s a question with an answer that would be different for everyone. What I really liked about Elyse’s story is that in the end she doesn’t have any fairy tale ending – there is no tall, dark and handsome man waiting – there is only she and her daughter looking to rebuild their lives.
This would make a great book club read. There’s so much to discuss and it’s definitely a topic that would generate a lot of conversation. Be forewarned though that there is some pretty graphic hanky panky going on and bad language. It’s not overwhelming but it’s there. This is Kim Wright’s first novel and I think it’s a solid book well worth reading.
I read Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright to start off her blog tour with Hachette Book Group. You can see other tour stops here and you can purchase Love in Mid Air here in the US and here in Canada. Be sure to pop back in tomorrow as Kim stops by to share a guest post with us.
My thanks…to Miriam with Hachette Book Group for my review copy of Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright.
Sheila (Bookjourney) says
This sounds good and I enjoyed reading your review.
I just read another review of this book and I think that it sounds like a story that is going to resonate in different ways to each individual reader. Of course all books do that, but this one seems that it might be more polarizing than most. It has me intrigued and I will put it on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing, Darlene!
Kim Wright says
Thanks for your great review of my book. I tried to make Love in Mid Air as honest and direct as I could, even knowing that this might sometimes make the reader a little bit mad at Elyse. As Kay said, it can all be a bit polarizing, but I think that's a good thing, especially for book clubs. How many times have we all sat in a book club and listened to everybody say "I liked it" and then move on to the coffeecake? My hope is that "Love" will lead to some lively discussions!
I agree that this would make a great book club read. Great review, Dar!
Sandy Nawrot says
I just read Kathy's review on this one, and I found myself getting frustrated just a little, and I haven't even read the book! And maybe that is Kim's goal. When I talk to people like Elyse (and there are so many of them!), what I really want to do is tell them that they are not going to find what they are searching for until they find peace within themselves. She could run off and have an affair with Mr. Wonderful, but over time, she would find herself dissatisfied with him too. It sounds like there is alot to ponder with this book!
Perhaps not for me but still a great review as always
I think I'm going to have to read this!
Missy B. says
This sounds like a good read Dar…great review! I'm adding it to my list. Happy reading!
I agree that this book would definitely be a good book to read with a book club. I could see a lot of heated discussion with the characters and choices that are made.
Another great review. It sounds like it would bring about all sorts of conversation at a book club.
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Wonderful review, Dar! I have been seeing this book all over the place and have to admit that I am intrigued by it. I am glad that you enjoyed it so much and that it was such a great read. I will be looking for it!
Kim Wright says
Thanks for the comments, ladies. If you do read the book, I hope you enjoy it….and if you discuss it with a book club or any other group of women, I'd love to know how it goes.
This sounds like a really great read. Thoughtful and insightful.
**In Elyse's world, women stay in marriages even if they aren't completely happy. Really, who's happy all the time? **
That is so true. I would definitely want to read this one.
Alice Teh says
Oh Dar, this is too close to home. It's almost like talking about my own life. I need to read this. Thanks for the review, Dar! You're a gem.
I don't think anyone can be happy all the time, but thankfully I'm not unhappy all the time! Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review.
Diary of an Eccentric
Hey Dar..I am enjoying this book. I agree with your points. I like to just read this one and not ask what would I do, but just kind of what what is happening. It could happen, it does happen, and it is worth talking about.
wow, sounds like you really enjoyed this book and it gives you a ton to think about and talk about with a book club. marriage is tough and you are definitely not happy all of the time.
Thanks for the great review. I really love the look of that cover.
Happy national poetry month!
Wow, it sounds really good.
Its so true, we often dont know what may lie beneath.