In the Unlikely Event, by Judy BlumeRead about the other entries on the list .
Historical Inspiration: The Umbrella of Death
Blume’s first adult novel in years takes inspiration from events she personally witnessed as a child: an uncanny trio of plane crashes that hit the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the space of two months in the early 1950s. This grim and remarkable series of disasters was caused by the configuration of runways at Newark Airport, which was referred to as the Umbrella of Death in the wake of the tragedies. The airport was closed until a new runway was completed that directed air traffic away from Elizabeth. Blume’s story centers on residents of the city dealing with both the immediate disasters of the crashes and their long aftermath.