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Liked It But Wanted More
This was a solid 3-star book for me. I liked it, but wanted more. Liane Moriarity, one of my new favorite authors for her wit and willingness to tackle difficult subject matter, endorsed this book as "one of those rare novels that is both unputdownable and unforgettable." At no point did I want to abandon the book, but I don't expect this story to stick with me over time. Not surprisingly, however, this book resonated strongly with my mother and I read it at her recommendation. About two years ago, our family dealt with the impact of an unexpected accident that also led to an injury similar to Maddy's and it was my mother who was the initial sole caregiver in that situation. To this day, the effects of that accident can still be felt in our family. I suspect it was the middle that was so emotionally touching for my mother - as it was for me: that excruciating time of "not knowing" while Maddy was in the hospital and then Maddy's unpredictable behavior after her initial return home. Unfortunately, the husband's pattern of verbal abuse, and the reaction of the family, didn't seem as convincing (or important) to me and I think that was supposed to be the meat of the story.
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.
WDH (New Port Richey, FL)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.