Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright
I suspect Kim Wright's Love in Mid Air (2010) is an odd choice to blog about on my fourteenth wedding anniversary, but that's what I'm doing!
A chance encounter with a stranger [Gerry] in an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly, Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage [to Phil], her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the church. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.
Ultimately, I don't think this book was really about a love affair at all. I think this story was about Elyse being unhappy with the current state of her life and wondering if there couldn't be something more fulfilling out there for her. Meeting Gerry just served as the catalyst (excuse?) to actually make some changes.
Overall, I admit to finding Elyse more than a bit self-absorbed and taking for granted the kind of life a lot of people would appreciate (decent husband, lovely daughter, no paying job due to having plenty of money from Phil's career, and more than enough time to concentrate on her pottery and whatever else she wanted to do). I guess that may be one of the points, though; just because someone's life looks pretty magical from the outside doesn't really mean we know how they're thinking and feeling about what's happening.
I enjoyed the interactions between the women, especially the actual dialogue. I did think some elements were a little off--like Elyse should have known why best friend Kelly and her husband don't have children (by choice, with regrets, whatever). Maybe that's just another sign of Elyse's extreme self-absorption?? And the friends, including the men, were all invested in Elyse and Phil's marriage in a way that I just don't have in my life and circle of friends and family--good or bad, who's to say? I think I prefer my way and having some privacy, though!
I'd love to see a sequel set five or ten years in the future, giving Elyse the opportunity to evaluate her life now compared to then.
My overall personal rating of Love in Mid Air is a B.