In A Perfect World
Summary (from Goodreads): This is the way the world ends...
It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn—handsome pilot, widower, tragic father of three—chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million daily irritations of the job. (Since the outbreak of the Phoenix flu, passengers had become even more difficult and nervous, and a life of constant travel had grown harder.) She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children.
But fairy tales aren't like marriage. Or motherhood. With Mark almost always gone, Jiselle finds herself alone, and lonely. She suspects that Mark's daughters hate her. And the Phoenix flu, which Jiselle had thought of as a passing hysteria (when she had thought of it at all), well . . . it turns out that the Phoenix flu will change everything for Jiselle, for her new family, and for the life she thought she had chosen.
From critically acclaimed author Laura Kasischke comes a novel of married life, motherhood, and the choices we must make when we have no choices left.
Review: This was an unusual apocalyptic novel because the pandemic part is mostly in the background. Instead, the novel focused primarily on an ordinary woman, her relationship with her new stepchildren, and her ability to make do during a mysterious flu. Pandemic novels terrify me, because I can so easily imagine a global pandemic spreading across the the real world, but I am strangely drawn to them to learn how people cope in tragic and terrifying circumstances. Usually, the main characters turn into heroes, but I loved that Jiselle seemed to just float along and do the best she could - exactly how I think most people would react. The romance between Jiselle and her handsome pilot husband Mark wasn't nearly as interesting as the struggle she went through with her stepdaughters. And I thought the lack of explanation around the Phoenix flu was a little unrealistic; surely someone would have been able to figure out and publicize how it spread, at least.
Rating: 4 stars