Title: Love in Mid Air
Author: Kim Wright
Release Date: March 29, 2010
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: SheKnows Book Club
Rating: 3 out of 5
Elyse Bearden has been discontent with her life for a long time. She hasn’t acted on these feelings, though, because she’s been stuck in such a deep rut with her husband, Phil. That is, until she met Gerry on a plane. Though they were only together for a few hours, Elyse can’t think of her life the same way anymore. She finds herself thinking about Gerry all the time and realizing that things can’t continue on like this. She decides she needs to pursue her own happiness, even if the cost is her marriage.
I’m going to say this right off the bat: I had mixed feelings about Love in Mid Air. There were aspects I appreciated, some parts I didn’t really love but went with, and others I didn’t like. Let’s start with the good: Kim Wright is a really talented writer. She knows how to write a story, how to keep a reader hooked. The pacing of Love in Mid Air was very good. There was a healthy balance of introspection and “action” to move the plot forward.
I didn’t love the character of Elyse, I have to admit. I couldn’t identify with her at all, partially because we are at such different stages in our life. Also, though, I felt like she complained without trying to make herself happier, by either finding fulfillment in the life she had or starting over in a new life without Phil. Instead, she decided on the middle road of infidelity, something I had a lot of trouble with. That being said, once I was able to let go of identifying with Elyse, I found her story to be interesting. It’s difficult for me to enjoy novels where I can’t at least sympathize with the main character, though, hence the mixed feelings.
I might be old fashioned, but I really don’t like infidelity in books. I think it’s an incredibly hard thing to justify and present sympathetically, no matter how unhappy the characters are. I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that focus on infidelity, and it only cements my feeling that (a) it just creates more problems, rather than bringing any kind of happiness and (b) it’s important to communicate unhappiness. There were times I felt really sorry for Phil because he just didn’t understand how unhappy Elyse was, yet everything he did was being viewed and judged through that “should I stay or leave or just continue with this affair” lens. At the same time, though, Phil was incredibly dense about some things, but instead of speaking up, Elyse kept quiet and just marked another line in the “against Phil” column. I also didn’t really get Gerry, Elyse’s love interest. He’s never really fully developed as a character, which is fine because it’s Elyse’s story. But the entire initial encounter on the plane just didn’t strike me as realistic.
Love in Mid Air was a SheKnows book club selection, which is why I read it, and I think it makes a wonderful pick. There is so much to discuss here, from Elyse’s choices to her circumstances, to the explosive ending. Even if, like me, you don’t really sympathize with Elyse, you certainly will have an opinion about her that you’ll be itching to discuss. Though the book didn’t work for me as well as I’d hoped, I certainly will be keeping an eye out for Kim Wright’s future works.