Author: Randy Susan MeyersSummary: 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. ~powells.com
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Bottom Line:An intriguing look at how one moment alters a family for good
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Review: Accidents of Marriage explores the inner workings of one family and one marriage. This is another case of me saying "You never know what happens behind closed doors." You see Ben is a highly successful attorney in the DA's office and is always so poised, put together and in control. If his employees and co-workers saw how he acted at home, they'd be shocked. You see Ben often yells, screams and throws things. His is mad all the time. It is evident from the start he has some anger issues going on. These things make it very hard to like him. I feel sorry for him and pity him but definitely did not like him. He's very selfish and self-righteous and I never saw him change or understand that.
It's easy to like Maddy because we can all identify with her in some capacity. Working-mom, loyal friend, wife, frazzled by all the things she has to get done. It's also easy to criticize her; why doesn't she just leave? Can't she make him get help? You also understand why it may not be easy for her to address any of those questions. She loves him and sometimes loves makes us endure the things we know we shouldn't.
I feel the most of the their oldest daughter, Emma. As Maddy tries to recover from the accident, Emma becomes a surrogate mother to the children. All while she is still a child herself. While I wasn't sure if Emma could rise to the occasion I was happy she was able to. Even those she rose to it, it was still way too much on her young shoulders, even with the help of her grandmother. I'm not surprised that she rebels as any teenager would.
Maddy will have her share of mountains to climb but I loved the ending of the book. There's a part in the end where Ben and her are talking about the state of their marriage, Maddy tells him that she needs to concentrate on her and getting better. There is so much emotion and history in that conversation that it summed up the book so well.
Ms. Meyers has a fantastic way of putting you in the novel as a "fly on the wall" instead of just a reader. Her books suck you in and you almost immediately care for the characters. She always has an interesting perspective given her career history and it definitely adds layers to her novels.
I can't recommend Accidents of Marriage enough and The Murderer's Daughters is fantastic as well.