Love in Midair by Kim Wright is a women's fiction novel rather unlike others I have read. It isn't often I read a novel where the woman is the person in the marriage carrying on an affair. I'm not sure why that is, because I know both men and women can be guilty of infidelity, but somehow the books I choose seem to feature the male as the cheating spouse.
Elyse and Phil have been married for a decade and have one daughter, Tory. From the beginning of the novel it is well known that Elyse is unhappy. When she meets a stranger, Gerry, on a flight the two embark on a secret affair, meeting up each month in a different city. There were a lot of interesting and thought provoking things in this novel for me:
Elyse and her husband are religious, even going to their pastor for marriage counseling. While I am not crazy enough to think that being religious means you won't cheat on your spouse, I didn't ever see their belief system factor in to any of the decisions they made. Why bother being people who attend church, are active members, and yet make decisions that don't appear to have any forethought about what they believe or value?
From the first page it is evident that Elyse is unhappy. However, I often felt like I could see her husband's viewpoint a bit more easily. Why was she unhappy? I am not arguing that is how she felt; it just seemed like such a cop-out to blame her unhappiness on her husband. Elyse didn't appear to try very hard at fixing her unhappiness, just instantly believing that by leaving her husband and not trying to work through their problems that she would be happier.
Elyse's friendships are another aspect of Love in Midair that I continue to think about. Wright has created a believable group of women who are friends mostly because they live in the same neighborhood and have children in school, go to the same church, belong to the same groups. This is the way I have often seen my own life working out - some of my friends are not people I have a lot in common with, but we are in the same place with many common threads and therefore develop a friendship.
And, maybe women and men really do hook up in airports, but the fact that they continue this relationship without being caught, visiting each other monthly in different cities is incredible to me.Did I enjoy this book? Yes. I did list the above thoughts as topics for discussion, but that itself doesn't mean I didn't like it. It just means the author created a story that is worthy of discussion - much like real life, nothing is black or white entirely. I enjoyed Wright's writing, and really felt that even though I didn't like Elyse much for a great portion of the novel she was an intriguing character.
What do others think about this book? I would love to get some feedback from others who have read Love in Midair.