Accidents of Marriage: Book summary and reviews of Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage

A Novel

By Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage
  • Readers' rating:

  • Publishes in USA 
    2 Sep 2014,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

From the bestselling author of The Comfort of Lies, an engrossing look at the darker side of a marriage—and at how an ordinary family responds to an extraordinary crisis.

Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he's lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids—which works to keep a fragile peace—until the rainy day when they're together in the car and Ben's volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

Randy Susan Meyers takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters, alternating among the perspectives of Maddy, Ben, and their fourteen-year-old daughter. Accidents of Marriage is a provocative and stunning novel that will resonate deeply with women from all walks of life, ultimately revealing the challenges of family, faith, and forgiveness.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. "Beautifully written, poignant and thought-provoking, this novel refuses to succumb to stereotypical reader expectations, making it even more memorable." " - Kirkus Reviews

"Randy Susan Meyers's second novel is sharp and biting, and sometimes wickedly funny...but it has a lot of heart, too." - The Boston Globe

"Randy Susan Meyers traces how the repercussions of a car accident expose fissures and long-held resentments from the past that force these characters to question everything. This is a wise and penetrating book." - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

"An incredibly accomplished and satisfying read, with an important message." - Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author

"With the heart of a novelist and the tenacity of an investigative journalist, Meyers flawlessly depicts the evolution and consequences of emotional abuse. A master of perspective with an uncanny understanding of human nature, she has managed to make us empathize with every member of this damaged family. This is an important story, one I'll be thinking about for a long time." - Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author

"I read Accidents of Marriage in one day. Like Meyers' first two novels, this one—about a family paying a high price for rage and trying to reknit itself in the aftermath of the unthinkable—is compulsive reading. It's amazing how warm Meyers' writing is even as her stories grip you by the hand and don't let go." - Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us

"Randy Susan Meyers is a genius of the human heart, and Accidents of Marriage is a profound education on the complexities of love, imperfection, damage, and responsibility." - Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

"Every marriage has its secret deals and compromises. In Accidents of Marriage, Randy Susan Meyers explores the vast complexity of this bond and lays out how passion, allegiance and love can go terribly wrong. A story you won't soon forget" - Ann Bauer, author of The Forever Marriage

"Meyers deftly pulled me in to this story from the first page, tying me to its tender and fearless heartbeat, and didn't let me go until the extremely satisfying end." - Amy Hatvany, author of Safe With Me

"The intertwined traumas of emotional abuse and brain injury careen through every family member in this disturbing and deeply insightful story. Meyers captures the necessity and complexity of excavating the truth as the foundation of life moving forward." - Janet Cromer, author of Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple's New Life after Brain Injury

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by WDH (New Port Richey, FL)
Family Dynamics
A good read overall - the storyline felt real, even though it was hard to 'like' some of the characters. Makes you want to pay more attention to relationships and be more aware of what could be going on around you. I also thought about how people start to compensate for and/or excuse behaviors that would set off alarm bells if you weren't so emotionally involved. While walking away isn't always a solution to solving relationship issues, confronting the situation could have made a difference. Not always easy to do, but ... maybe a better choice in the long run.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kay K. (Oshkosh, WI)
Can Marriage Be an Accident?
Is who you marry just an "accident" and if it is can it be survived? Meyers book explores a marriage through the awakenings of its characters. Maddy awakens from a coma on one level and on a deeper level she awakens from her accident of marriage. Emma, a teen, is awakening from adolescence during a difficult family tragedy, and Ben awakens from his self absorption. Can all these awakenings keep the family together or will they tear them apart? Meyer's examination of each character's feelings and reactions is an interesting one. The characters seem real and the premise plausible. That is what keeps the reader reading.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Eileen L. (Danvers, MA)
Great summer read
I absolutely loved this book. It so eloquently tell the story of a family and its secrets, and what happens when the unthinkable exposes them. Maddy's struggle to strike a balance in her life and her marriage is so genuine you feel as though you know her. Many times I hate the disconnect of multiple narrators, but in Meyer's hands the flow of the story is actually enhanced by the treatment. This one is a page turner and I read it in a couple of days. The development of the characters, the details of the family, and the ultimate outcome all make for a great read for anyone who knows life is not always as it seems and no matter how carefully we plan fate has a mind of its own.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)
Are there accidents?
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to reading this book and I am guilty of judging by a title. I am glad to say that I am glad to have gone against my first thoughts. This book was a very good read, Randy Susan Meyers has a very similar style of writing to Jodi Piccoult. It drew me in and held my attention and I didn't want it to end. This would be a great book to read for a book club review. The depth at which the characters were described in the book, made it a very good read. I would definitely recommend it

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Chris L. (Baxter, MN)
Accidents of Marriage
I found the book slightly hard to get into until about half-way through, finding the writing a little tedious. However, I started it late afternoon and finished it around 2:00 a.m., so it certainly held my interest. I think it would offer a very good discussion for book clubs.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Susan B. (Coventry, RI)
Accidents of Marriage
I got taken in by this book very early on. I was halfway through before I knew it. The characters were well described and each one had his/her own idiosyncrasies and needs. This meant that rather than thinking of the characters as a family, I saw them as individuals. Because of the horrible accident which occurs early in the book, the family disintegrates as such and instead we see each personality as real and feeling human beings. My sympathies were for Maddy, the mother of three children and wife of Ben. Ben was the perpetrator and evoked no emotion from me. I felt that everything negative that happened in the book was his fault. I was definitely on the side of the debilitated family. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book with lots of drama. One problem follows another as the story evolves and picks up speed. It would also be a good choice for a women's book group.

...56 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Randy Susan Meyers Author Biography

Randy Susan Meyers spent eight years as assistant director of Common Purpose, a batterer intervention program where she worked with both batterers and domestic violence victims. Previously, she was director for the Mission Hill Community Centers where she worked with at-risk youth. She is the co-author of the nonfiction book Couples with Children. Her short fiction has been published in Perigee, Fog City Review, and Grub Street Free Press. She currently teaches fiction-writing seminars at the Grub Street Writers' Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

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