Judy M. (East Haven, CT)
Accidents of Marriage
I received this book as I was leaving for vacation, and upon the 1st chapter decided it would be a great vacation read. To my surprise--it was much better than just a vacation novel.
I loved the characters, and the way the author injected so many thoughtful topics, effortlessly. At first---just the religion component, without the emphasis on religion per say, but the ability to think about religion at large was refreshing to me.
Moving on through the family dynamics due to what happened to Maddy was done in such a way that I felt like I was a part of the family
I loved this book all the way through to the ending, which had a few possibilities, and surprisingly did not have me specifically rooting for one ending over another.
I highly recommend this book to book clubs, as it has many topics of conversation, and in general as a well written, complex yet easy to follow novel.
Vy A. (Munds Park,, AZ)
Accidents of Marriage A Novel
Told in three viewpoints (husband, wife, teen daughter) the reader is drawn into their heads and hearts as they deal with difficult issues such as spousal-abuse, infidelity, brain injury and the recovery process. Minor characters are also well-developed in the family dynamics including siblings and grandparents. This would make a good discussion book as it explores universal themes of love, forgiveness and accountability. I highly recommend it.
Gail G. (Northbrook, IL)
Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers
I can't say I enjoyed reading this book but I could not stop myself from having deep feelings for the characters in the it.--especially Emma who was called upon to grow up and take on too many responsibilities. Of course I felt very emotional about what happened to Maddy--no question about that. All the characters had good reason to be in the plot some not as important as others but each believable and and necessary contributors to the action. Even Zelda foreshadowed Mandy's ability to say things she never was able to in the past. I could not atop reading because it was important for me to learn the fate of the characters and to learn what happens to this family. Every family member needs someone or something. The problem is how to find out what that need is and to fulfill it truthfully and not hide behind false words to be honest even if you hurt a loved one is arriving at maturity in your life and making your relationships grounded in reality and able to survive all the problems which attack it in daily living and build a life together not on one dominant behavior over another.
Maddy summed up her life with Ben by saying she didn' t have an accident of life but an accident of marriage.
Jean G. (Rockford, IL)
This is not a happy or upbeat story as it concerns a family fraught with an overabundance of everyday problems, many brought on by a husband's drinking, anger, and ignorance in child rearing, coupled with a life changing event. The husband/father is truly not a likable person. It held my interest because the author was able to put the reader into the mind of the 3 major, fully developed characters by alternating chapters with each one of them as they navigated their life, keeping the reader fully involved. A few times i wanted the story to move along a little faster. My issue is with the medical facts and behavior that ran through a major part of the novel. I had doubts how believable and realistic the medical issues were that were portrayed. Although a major theme, that accuracy is probably secondary to the emotional trauma this creates for the family and how they progress through it. This book runs the gamut on discussion of the family dynamic, such as faithfulness, religious influence, and teen responsibility.
Eve A. (Henderson, NV)
Accidents of Marriage
Average is a perfect word to describe this book. I felt as if I had read this story before. It's a common theme - how a family survives an accident to one of them. Without revealing too much of the plot - the mother of the family is seriously injured in a car accident. The rest of the book deals with the effects on her husband and children. The characters were interesting but once again - I felt as if I had met them before. I found parts of the book very slow moving - I wanted everyone to move on. I did finish it tough as I was curious enough to want to find out how each family member turned out, The ending was satisfactory.
Susan R. (Julian, NC)
Was this marriage an accident waiting to happen?
This novel is the story of a marriage and a family in trouble. The husband has severe anger management problems and the wife has learned to compensate by not upsetting him and by taking a few pills when needed to get through her days. His anger causes a car accident that results in catastrophic brain injury to her. The accident bring the family dysfunction out of the shadows of their lives and shows how Ben's anger not only affected Maddy but also their three children. The novel is well told and the characters are very well developed. I felt like I knew them and I laughed and cried with them. This is the first book that I've read by this author and I plan to read her previous books based on my enjoyment of this book.
I think that this would be a great book for a book club to read and discuss. There are so many areas that could be discussed - the parent's reactions to the accidents, the children's reactions, and ultimately how Ben and Maddy handle their lives after the accident.
Roberta M. (Saratoga, CA)
First Impression review Accidents of Marriage
I both loved and hated this book, I know that sounds impossible but it's the truth. The reason being is that it was a book I wanted to read, I found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it, this is the mark of a good book to me.
It was realistic maybe too realistic, I found myself crying in some passages as it reminded me of my childhood and the way my own father raged. To say it was painful to see your life in print would be an understatement. One of the most potent parts for me was when Emma's father knelt at her knees and said he was sorry, everyone wanted her to say something, to fix it, going so far to say that forgiveness will make you feel better, but she couldn't/wouldn't. I know that feeling being the oldest you are there to make it all better for your siblings, the role of the protector. She is only fifteen and they wanted her to fix everything.
A powerfully written and a well thought out book depicting the struggle of a disabled parent living in an able body world. I know too well the embarrassment, my mother was disabled, how hard that is for a teenager to bear, as well as the parent to know they are the source of embarrassment.
I liked the way the author did not tidy it up for you, there is hope for the family but they have work to do that will take commitment and insight.