“I just can’t,” I say, rubbing my eyes, “I can’t seem to remember why I married him.”“Don’t drive yourself crazy,” says Belinda. “We all feel like that sometimes.” Nancy is running her finger around the rim of her wineglass.“I’ve had a bad decade.”“What you fail to understand, my dear,” says Kelly, “is that we’ve all had the same decade.” (p. 267)
I found this novel to be a thousand times more powerful than I ever thought it would. It seemed light. Fluffy, almost, like the clouds one looks down on from a high altitude. Or, up to from the ground. But, I guess it’s all about point of view. Something can look like one thing from one perspective, and totally different from another.
Take marriage, for example. I have friends who aren’t married; they tend to look at married couples and see “a soft place to land” as one of my oldest girlfriends once told me. They see someone to have a family with, to find comfort with, to grow old with.
But, that’s totally ignoring the parts which aren’t so soft a landing: getting along with someone else day in, day out. Marriage is as tricky as any other part of life. It can be glorious, and it can be gory.
I love how Kim Wright examined marriage through her character, Elyse, in Love in Mid-Air. Elyse is a mother in her thirties, married to a dentist and pursuing her artistic passion in ceramics. I could totally relate to the dissatisfaction she felt toward her husband, as well as the compulsion she felt to accept the advances of a stranger while flying home from a pottery show in which her work was exhibited.
Who wouldn’t be drawn to a sexy man, one who offers all that her husband doesn’t? He gives her passion, attention, and excitement. They are willing to meet each other, while leaving their spouses unaware, and settle for what they can grab one weekend a month. Alluring? Yes. Satisfying? I’m not so sure.
This is a novel which will make those of us who are married think, and those of us who aren’t question. It examines husbands and wives, being single and being married, being an adulterer, a friend, and a woman, more thoroughly than I have read since Madame Bovary or The Awakening. It is a modern day romance, with an intriguing ending. It begs the question, “What would you do if you were desperately unhappy in your marriage?”