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In a perfect world : a novel
Laura Kasischke
Adult Fiction KASISCH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Poet and novelist Kasischke finds beauty amid the apocalypse in her timely seventh novel. The Phoenix flu is sweeping the world, causing mass hysteria, arousing profound paranoia and inciting anti-American hatred worldwide. Jiselle, 32, is a jaded flight attendant and perpetual bridesmaid who says, "I do," when handsome pilot Capt. Mark Dorn, a widower, offers her a vision of a perfect Midwestern family life far from her humdrum job and the dangers of the pandemic. The glitch is Mark's three minor children, who view Jiselle with derision, pity or outright hostility despite her best efforts to mother them. After the flu threat detains Mark overseas for months and then strikes close to home, Jiselle and her stepchildren must redefine their idea of family, community and their understanding of perfection and happiness. As their prospects of survival dwindle, the nascent family's fragile ties grow stronger. Kasischke's penchant for disconcerting but absorbing fiction is on display, as is her facility with language. Startling, sometimes violent images combine with strikingly dispassionate narration to create a fictional world where terror, beauty and chaos walk hand in hand. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Former flight attendant Jiselle is starting to adjust to life with her new husband and stepchildren when the stillness of a hot summer day is pierced by adolescent Sara howling at the news that Britney Spears is dead-victim of a deadly flu sweeping the United States. No one has used the word epidemic yet, but Jiselle is easily swayed to become a stay-at-home mom. With her pilot husband detained in Germany, Jiselle struggles with isolation, frequent power outages, and dwindling food supplies-and discovers an inner strength she never could have imagined. Verdict The writing is occasionally overblown, but the persistent reader is rewarded. Kasischke (The Life Before Her Eyes) has created a dystopia different from Margaret Atwood's in The Handmaid's Tale, but one that will also appeal to the serious reader who wants to be challenged.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technology & Community Coll. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Jiselle
Age: 32
Her three stepchildren do not like her; determined to keep her family together as they try to survive the flu epidemic.
Flight attendant

Mark Doen
Jiselle's husband; detained overseas due to a flu epidemic.

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