Barbara G. (Lisle, IL)
A Marriage Often Is Not What It Seems
We try to live our lives to the best of our abilities, but our relationships with others can be at times and simultaneously helpful, distracting and destructive. How one family adjusts to those changes is explored in depth in Accidents of Marriage. Two intelligent headstrong people who mean well find their actions running at cross-purposes to their goals. Maddy thinks she has a handle on helping others but can't manage her own life without secret chemical support. Ben, tries to be a good husband and father, but his legal career is taking its toll and he is subject to terrifyingly angry outbursts at random moments that even his wife can't seem to handle. When that anger results in a horrible car crash that leaves Maddy hospitalized and with brain damage, both of them adjust to the changes in their life and marriage differently. Even their teenaged daughter and young son must take on new roles due to these changes. Author Randy Susan Meyers takes an unsparing look at this family and its situation with the understanding eye that allows the reader to feel the pain and struggle as if it were personal.
Melissa P. (Greenville, NY)
Accidents of Marriage
I enjoyed the author's book The Comfort of Lies and the book was just as good. In this novel, Maddy and Ben have a marriage that is struggling due to Ben's anger issues. Those reach a high point when his angry driving plays a role in causing a car accident, which leaves Maddy in a coma with a traumatic brain injury. Maddy eventually comes out of the coma but her road to recovery--of her words and emotions, of her marriage, of her life--is one that is not easy.
I enjoyed Meyer's writing. She told this story in alternating viewpoints of Maddy, Ben and their oldest daughter Emma. This fleshed out these three important characters more to readers and made them even more engaging. Meyer is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
I received a copy of this book from BookBrowse, in exchange for a honest review.
Sandra W. (Marietta, OH)
What is acceptable?
Unless your marriage and all of your relationships are perfect it is impossible not to connect to this book. This book takes a close look under a microscope at one family and their relationships. I could really understand the relationship between Maddy and Ben before the accident. You know the conversation is going badly; you know what you should say and want to say; and yet you say the opposite and make matters worse.
Maddy worked with dysfunctional families and yet she couldn't see the dysfunction and even abuse in her own.
I found this book hard to put down and yet the relationships almost painful to read at times. The accident changes everything and yet initially people did not step up to the plate the way I predicted. It keeps twisting and turning to a satisfying end.
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
If I'd known more about how this book was going to play out, I might not have read it. For some reason, I expected it to be more upbeat than it was, but it kept me reading...to the point I didn't want to put it down, needing to find out how it would end.
Accidents of Marriage would be a good read for a book club, because there are lots of things to discuss, and I'm sure there would be a lot of different opinions expressed at a meeting. I definitely recommend it!
Kathy S. (Danbury, CT)
Accidents of Marriage
It took me a week to drag myself through this book. I found the characters to be totally self-absorbed, both before and after the accident. Every adult had his or her own agenda; even for the older daughter and her boyfriend, it was all about them. I have very little patience with these types of people in real life, and zero patience with them in books. If this had been a library book, it would have gone back after the first 50 pages.
Beverly S. (Chesterton, IN)
Well written and a quick read
I previously read "The Murderer's Daughters" and I became a fan of Randy Susan Myers' writing. She did not disappoint with her newest novel, "Accidents of Marriage". The story portrays a family dealing with normal day to day issues for the most part. However the Father has major anger management issues which lead to emotional abuse against his wife. A car accident where he was at fault, leaves his wife near death. You will become part of the family's day to day lives, hoping they can all heal and mend the broken pieces of their family. I like the writing style and I can see that the author uses her job experience to help create her characters. I hope you enjoy this book.
Rebecca K. (Chicagoland)
Strong character-driven story
"Accidents of Marriage" is an interesting view at the life of one family. Told from the alternating viewpoints of the wife, husband, and eldest child, the multiple voices worked in showing the situation from different perspectives.I enjoyed the novel, but found it a bit short of being truly great. When a husband's anger issues change his family forever, everyone involved must come to terms with the consequences.
I wish the character of the husband had been a bit more gray - instead, he was portrayed rather black and white as the "bad" one in the relationship. If he was more sympathetic as a character, the book would have had a stronger impact.