Monday, August 15, 2011

Love in Mid Air, a Review

Chick lit is defined by Wikipedia as “genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.” As a genre, it sells well, with titles frequently topping the bestseller lists and becoming part of modern culture in the “Sex and the City” tradition. The target market for chick lit is obviously women. A question that sounds as if it could be phrased by Candace Bushnell/Carrie Bradshaw herself would be: Should men read chick lit?

Debut novelist Kim Wright admits that the intended demographic for Love in Mid Air is American women in book clubs, so she was interested in knowing what I thought of the book. In fact, much of the narrative revolves around the day-to-day routines of this demographic. Its characters are members of a book club, active in church renovations, mothers who escort their children to softball games. These are housewives dealing with the simple, yet complex trivialities of life in the American suburbs.

In an interview on her website, Kim Wright says she’s “describing a world that your readers have not only been to but that a large number of them are probably living in right now.” 

I began reading the novel, therefore, as a visitor in uncharted territory. The scenes of Americana were as foreign to me as the inner thoughts of the main character’s mind.

As I read, I met Elyse, a housewife with a reliable husband and a comfortable home. It is only by chance that she meets a stranger on a cross-country flight, and it is a brief kiss that ignites her desire to escape, to leave and start anew with someone else. “In real life, women stay,” one of her friends says to her. But in Elyse’s real life, the decision to leave is made early on.

Kim Wright first began writing Love in Mid Air right after her own divorce but it took her nearly a decade to finish it. She has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than 25 years, but managed to create a unique literary voice for her debut novel. And this is what works best about the book. It may be a work of fiction, but it rings of realism. 

“I wanted it to sound very intimate, very confessional. Like a woman leaning over a café table talking to a friend,” the author says.

So, should a man read Love in Mid Air? A short amount of online research led me to this quote:
“I have come to the conclusion that men NEED to read chick lit. Not because they HAVE to. But because it’s fun, because it can help them to understand women.” That same author stated that men who read chick lit “will come to the shocking realization, gradually, that women are not just objects of desire or fear, but fellow human beings, capable of feelings, capable of dreams, and subject to the same follies all human beings are subject to.”

I highly recommend reading Love in Mid Air, no matter if you’re a woman or a man, because it’s a good read and a true-to-life tale of the pitfalls of modern marriage and what lies beyond.

Buy Love in Mid Air and read it now!


  1. Thanks so much, Ellis. As you say, I'm always especially interested in the thoughts and reactions of male readers. I loved reading this review!

  2. Great review. I'm not a guy, but based on your recommendation and the author's "leaning over the coffee table" writing style, I'll read it! Thanks, Ellis.