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Love in Mid Air Hardcover – March 29, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Wright hits it out of the park in her debut, an engaging account of a woman contemplating divorce. Despite finally getting her husband, Phil, to attend counseling sessions with her, Elyse Bearden realizes her marriage is dead in the water. Though Phil's a doting father and a decent man, he's also the occasional jerk who snickers at his wife in lingerie and is generally indifferent to her. Elyse already knows she's going to leave her husband when she meets Gerry Kincaid and soon begins an affair that allows her to escape from the crushing banality of her suburban life. Serving as Elyse's foil is her beautiful best friend, Kelly, now married to an older, wealthy man. While the idea of housewives complaining about their husbands over lunch may strike some as a conventional hen-lit trope, Wright conveys friendships and the blasé everyday with authenticity and telling detail, while passages depicting Elyse's inner life are rife with the same wit and insight that infuse the dialogue. Though this story is one that readers may have seen many times before, Wright delivers fresh perspective and sympathetic characters few writers can match. (Mar.)
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Contentedly married Elyse is returning to her pleasant home in North Carolina on a flight from Phoenix when she meets Boston businessman Gerry. They start to talk, exchange numbers, and suddenly Elyse finds herself undergoing a sea change. In no time, she’s engaged in a dangerous affair with Gerry, jetting off to various cities, receiving mysterious packages, and taking secretive phone calls, risking her marriage, her idyllic life as a housewife in suburbia, and the position she holds at her local church. Elyse’s longtime friend Kelly is perplexed and concerned as Elyse spirals deeper into the affair with the stranger. As Elyse questions what she wants out of life, she must weigh the risk of what will happen if, or when, her husband finds out about Gerry. An intense, thoughtful novel about love and friendship, or the lack thereof, in a marriage. --Hilary Hatton
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Top customer reviews
It turned out to be great therapy and a push to take my marriage to the next level. The discussions we had around this book and the issues it raises only strengthened my convictions about marriage and what it takes to make it work.
Elyse and her friends struggle to find out who they really are. Did they marry for love or to find a "life" that they wanted?
"What would happen if a woman was completely herself within a marriage?"
That is an excellent question and one that requires that she actually KNOWS exactly who she is.
Love in Mid-Air is more of an analysis of the demise of a marriage than about anything else. The prose reads like poetry at times (for example, the scene on the church steps) and is so thought-provoking, I couldn't get my mind off this book for days afterwards.
Kim Wright excels at showing and not telling her readers about the characters, and presents a thought-provoking glimpse into relationships. Highly recommended!
Throughout her journey into her own, we see Elyse's resolve to find love and happiness again. She has a breakthrough in her work as an artist, which although professionally validating, does not quell her longing to feel desire and emotional connection. Wright places Elyse on a forbidden path, but if we are honest with ourselves, it is a path with appeal in light of her circumstances. Her actions are validated by her attempts to do the right thing that go unnoticed. Although Elyse does things in the wrong order from society's conventions, it is her survival, her humanness that is at stake.
I smiled and laughed at loud, recognizing myself and my friends in Elyse and her circle of girlfriends Wright portrays (who hasn't made the Target run Wright describes?). They could be anyone's friends, but their quirks and experiences add richness and contrast to Elyse. I felt Elyse's solidarity but also recognized her uniqueness that sets her apart from her friends at times.
Although Love in Mid Air is written from a woman's point of view, I think men would benefit from reading this novel. Face it - women are often mysterious creatures to men. In Love in Mid Air, Wright pulls back the curtain and allows readers an inside view of the feminine mind.
I also found the many metaphors intriguing, especially the handcuffs and the key. There is a running question as to who has the key, which to me represents who is or isn't in her life. Very clever!
The ending left me reeling and wanting more. The last chapter could almost be the first chapter of a sequel novel. I certainly hope so!
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