April 2, 2010

Review of "Love in Mid Air" by Kim Wright

Synopsis:  A chance encounter with a stranger in an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly, Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, 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.

This is author Kim Wright's debut work and if this book is any indication, she is looking at a successful career as a writer.  Because this book is a literary grand slam. 

From the first page, I was hooked.  Hooked on Ms. Wright's writing style, hooked on the story and hooked on the characters.  I literally snuck reading in whenever I could, so anxious was I to find out what was going on in Elyse's world, putting off sleep and household chores to read. 

Elyse was a complex character.  On the one hand, I liked her and felt for her predicament.  On the other, she is nothing like me and I sometimes wanted to beat my head on the wall in frustration.  Ms. Wright did a smart thing in making Elyse's husband Phil a likable, decent man, a good father and good provider but a man she simply did not, and could not, love. 

Elyse's girlfriends, members of her book club, were a wonderfully varied bunch, each one an individual in her own way, from best friend Kelly, to the "perfect" pastor's wife Nancy, to recently divorced and recently outcast Lynn, to sweet and somewhat left in the shadows Belinda.  So vivid were these characters I could actually visualize them and hear them talking as I read the book.  Ms. Wright has proven herself to have an excellent ear for dialogue and none of the conversations in Love in Mid Air sound scripted or pretentious.  You could be listening to your own girlfriends while thumbing through these pages. 

While the seemingly obvious love interest in the book would be Gerry - - the man who convinces Elyse that her marriage has gone stale, or always been stale - - I felt that the real love story in the book was the friendship between Elyse and Kelly.  These two were friends that truly loved each other, that depended on each other through thick and thin.  They had a real understanding of each other that neither woman shared with any other person in the book.  It was a welcome diversion to have two such devoted people, with their individual flaws, who weren't a romantic couple. 

Despite the subject matter of Love in Mid Air (because adultery would hardly be a fun subject), I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  In fact, I didn't realize until I had finished the book that the story was relatively sad - - a woman who felt trapped in a marriage that everyone else considered successful and happy, and a husband who believes everything to be fine and can't grasp the seriousness of his marital situation. 

For the more conservative readers, this book may be a bit too much to handle.  There is the obvious adultery, and there is a smattering of sexual situations and strong language.  This is definitely not a book for kids.  Love in Mid Air is, however, a perfect read for a book club as there are so many debatable discussions and issues that would spark conversation for hours. 

I would highly recommend Love in Mid Air to anyone looking for a read that will get your mental juices flowing and really make you think.  Is any affair forgiveable?  Is Elyse a bad person?  Is Gerry? 

Love in Mid Air isn't your typical love triangle story - - it sets the classic love story on its ear.  Elyse may not be an easy character to root for in some cases and the same could be true for Phil, for Gerry or for any of the characters in the book.  But it's a story that will have you quickly turning pages, staying up into the night to finish it and it will remain with you after you turn the last page.  While I found the ending debateably happy, I was satisfied with the book and left with an appreciation for my husband.

Love in Mid Air  is available at major booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon

For further information on Love in Mid Air, visit author Kim Wright's website and blog HERE.  

Author Kim Wright's other tour stops can be found HERE

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!!! Thanks to the lovely Miriam Parker at the Hachette Book Group, I have THREE copies of Love in Mid Air up for grabs.

To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know if you've ever found love in an unusual place, like an airplane seat!  Just leave me your name and email address and you're entered to win your own copy of Love in Mid Air. That's it! U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes.   Contest to end on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. EST and the lucky winners drawn on Sunday, April 18, 2010.

Good luck!


Tales of Whimsy said...

AWESOME review but please don't enter me. I don't really dig cheating tales.

Kim Wright said...

Wow, Lori, thanks so much for hosting me and for the fabulous review. You hit on a part of the story that isn't getting much attention but what I think is the true heart of the novel....the friendship between Elyse and Kelly and how their loyalty to each other is as much a love story as Elyse's marriage to Phil or affair with Gerry. Thanks a thousand times for hosting me! (And you might be interested to know that I'm presently working on the sequel, which is told from Kelly's point of view.)

Lori Johnston said...

Thanks, Juju! I normally wouldn't get into cheating tales either but this book was so well written and so thought provoking that it was worth reading.

Kim, thank YOU so much for putting me on your tour stop and allowing me to read and review your book. Honestly, one of the best written tales of relationships and marriage I've read. I'm very excited to hear of the sequel, hooray! I will definitely be looking for that one. Happy Friday!

Bookie said...

This book seems to have a lot more depth to it than just an affair though I am intrigued by that aspect as well. Count me please. dawnpnr(at)aol(dot)com

Unknown said...

I would love to read this one.
I actually met my hubby on Valentine's day when I was out on a "We hate boys" date with my girlfriends. He was our waiter!!!

Monique said...

I can't say that I've found love in an unusual place. However, I'm open to all possibilities! LOL!

Teresa said...

This one looks really interesting. I'd love to read it. Please include me.

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

I found love at a Starbucks and that was a hoot.

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds interesting, like a good choice for our reading group.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Mozi Esme said...

I found love in church... :)

Would love to read this.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't found love in an unusual place. Unless you think an unemployment office is unusual. I worked there and the man who is now my husband came in looking for a job. I got him a job and he got a wife too. Please enter me. Thanks!


Kate the Book Buff said...

I have only found love once, and unfortunately it was in a predictable and uninteresting place. I met my husband at church. I'd love to win the book, my e-mail address is k8thebookbuff@yahoo.com Thanks!

dollycas aka Lori said...

Found you blog via Book Blogs and I love it!! Us Lori's need to follow each other!!:)

This book sounds really good and I would love to win it.

This will make me look bad but I fell in love with my husband when he tutored my gym class. He's four years older than me and I followed him around like a puppy dog, not quite a stalker, for a whole summer. We reconnected when I was in college and we have been happily married for 27 years.

dollycas79 at gmail dot com

Paula Schuck said...

I found love at Red Lobster. Sounds like a title of a book, doesn't it? True though. Met my husband at Red Lobster and we were working there at the time and in school and frankly I looked at him and, to me he just radiated kindness and athleticism and goodness and when I tell him this he gets ticked because he would rather hear that I fell for him because I thought he was hot or something like that. To me it was a strange zen spiritual love at first sight.

Paula (This book looks soooo good.)

Paula Schuck said...

My email is inkscrblr@rogers.com and I liked the review too.

angie said...

No I can't say I have found love in any unusual place. I am still waiting though:)
I would love to be entered for this book.
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Jonnie (JB) said...

I've never found love anywhere interesting but I do enjoy reading about complex relationships and this book sounds great.


Ashley said...

I met my love in a dance club of all places...classy I know. But we've been together for 5 years and still going strong.


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I find love in the usual places, thank you, wife of over 50 years, children and grandchildren...

Bill ;-)

billsmith2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

BookHounds said...

Hmm...how about the back of a nightclub. Yep, that is where I met my husband. Please enter me.
Maryinhb at gmail

wendy wallach said...

I dont think I have ever found love in an unusual place..sorry! But please enter me anyway!

madamerkf at aol dot com

DemonLover said...

Does lust count? in the parking lot of a Stripper club?? LOL
No really...

But seriously I met my hubby online in a yahoo chat.
Been together 7 years!


I've got some good stuff for grabs! Come see.


June G said...

Nope. I've found love, but the places have all been pretty conventional. Your review pulled me in. I'd like to check this book out. Count me in please.

june (at) writingisablessing (dot) com


Janelle said...

I met my husband at a wedding rehearsal dinner....his step-mother married my uncle!! That was about 23 years ago.... :)

Lookfortherainbow at yahoo dot com

demmi said...

no I have not found love in an unusual place

TBR's said...

Would love to win a copy...:D

Love in strange places...the best one would be my husband who I found in a music store.....


Paper Cut Reviewer said...

Hi Lori and what great review! Hi Kim! Wow your book sounds really interesting. I like books that are different and unconventional so I would love to read "Love in Mid Air". I kinda found love in a strange way it was actually a blind date,lol! You know how blind dates never really go right so I expected it to be the worst but it was great! I went on a blind date 10 years ago and now we are happily married and inseparable:)


Unknown said...

I did meet a guy on an airplane, but definitely wasn't love! I met the love of my life (who I'm still happily married to) in High School Socail Dance Class. If you knew my husband, you would think it's funny because he's a very manly man so everyone is always shocked that that's where we met...and we haven't danced since!

Unknown said...

Hey, I am a new follower found you from book blogs. Please enter me in your giveaway sounds like a great read.


bellamama3 said...

I love your enthusiastic review and am interested in winning this book. Met my husband at a friend's house---not too unusual--but we've had a great 17 years together.

couponmom said...

I guess the most unusual place for me would be a poker tournament.


Allison said...

Sounds like a great book..please enter me!! I found love online in a chat room!! Really..and married him!!