Liz D. (Northbrook, IL)
Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and ...
Although this novel is about Maddy, wife, mother and social worker, and what happens to her following an accident, Randy Susan Meyers tells the story through three different lenses. The reader is tipped off to the changing point-of-view by naming each title chapter for one of three characters- Maddy; Ben, husband and public defender; and fourteen-year-old daughter, Emma who provides most of the care for younger seven year-old, Caleb and nine year-old, Gracie.
It was a pleasure to read this fast paced, well written novel. The compelling plot kept the reader turning the pages, but it had a far deeper focus on family relationships - some good, some bad, and some not very functional. The book left this reader with much to think about after reading the last page, one of my personal hallmarks of an excellent novel.
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
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.
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.
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!
Shirley D. (Amherst, MA)
ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE
Ben, Maddy and their children, their own parents, in-laws and siblings are like the family next door, folks I have known for years. Although I knew the love shared, I was apprehensive of underlying weaknesses and then was a witness to the shattering of that family and feared for its recovery. The characters are so well written, so well developed, I nearly forgot it was fiction and grieved for all, especially for Emma, the teen who was forced to try to hold the family together. Some novels I read, enjoy and forget. Accidents of Marriage will be in my thoughts for a long time.