Monday, June 8, 2015

Accidents of Marriage: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers

Look what comes out tomorrow in paperback - the perfect summer beach read:
(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
A powerful and engaging story about the darker side of marriage, Accidents of Marriage, explores the rarely discussed topic of emotional abuse within marriage.   

about book:
For Madeline Illica, the love of her husband Ben was her greatest blessing and biggest curse. Brilliant and charming Ben could turn into a raging bull when crossed—and despite her training as a social worker Maddy never knew what would cross him. When Ben was in a conciliatory mood, they worked on techniques for communication and anger management but on the day of the accident, nothing seemed to help. He was furious at having to drive Maddy to work, the road was wet, and that SUV was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ben never meant for them to go off the road or for Maddy to go flying through the windshield.
Now she’s on a ventilator in intensive care and no one knows if she’ll reawaken from her coma and, if she does, whether she’ll ever be her old self. Maddy’s family blames Ben. Maddy’s friends blame Ben. The children blame Ben. Ben blames Ben—and he is sick to the pit of his soul over the fear of losing his one true love.

Fourteen-year-old Emma sees things a little differently. She desperately misses her mother but misses being a teenager more as she’s forced to pick up the slack from Ben and parent her younger siblings Gracie and Caleb. On the cusp of coming of age, she needs Maddy so she can discuss the hard decisions she’s being forced to make. And her confrontations with her volatile father are growing more heated by the day.

my thoughts:  
Guess which book was just listed in the Massachusetts Book Awards”Fiction Must Reads for 2015" - Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers!  How awesome is that?! Especially, since I totally agree. Yep, Accidents of Marriage is must read!!

Filled with unforgettable characters, terrific writing, and an unputdownable story - this book has it all.  Told via alternating points of view, we get a full picture of the relationships between matriarch Maddy, husband Ben, and their eldest daughter Emma (she's fourteen).  What we learn is that Ben is abusive toward his wife.  He gets in these rages and lashes out at her with very loud and very mean words.  Maddy walks around on eggshells wondering what mood her husband will be in today.  And Emma is just trying to be a teenager and deal with the adolescent dramas that come with the territory.  Except everything changes the day that Ben's anger leads to Maddy lying in a hospital bed in a coma.  Yep, they wound up in a car accident and everyone knows that it was Ben's fault.  They all blame him for what has happened to Maddy and he knows they are right to do so.  Ben is consumed by guilt and worry about what will happen to him and his marriage should anything worse happen to Maddy or if she finally decides to leave him once she wakes up.  As for Emma, she's left to deal with the house and her younger siblings, which frustrates her and leads to arguments with her dad.  She just wants her life back to normal.  So much family drama! I absolutely loved it all!

What an excellent book!  I was fascinated by its exploration of a darker side of marriage.  No happy fairy tales here.  In this story we get reality at its ugliest and most raw.  Accidents of Marriage takes a close look at a topic that we often never hear about - emotional and verbal abuse.   In this story, we become privy to the inner dynamics of a relationship in which the wife is getting emotionally and verbally abused by her husband.  We learn about the feelings of unrest, fear, and despair that she experiences every day.  We learn about their children and the various ways in which they choose to deal with their parents' relationship, which bleeds into their lives.   Its heartbreaking to read, but so important in helping shed light on a very serious subject that needs to be addressed.  I think that Meyers does a terrific job at showing us the different sides to the story - that of the abuser, the victim, and the family who sees and hears it all.  I was absolutely captivated from start to finish.  Accidents of Marriage is such a smart and powerful story, that I can't stop thinking about it. 

I would most definitely recommend this book to fans of Randy Susan Meyers' works and to fans of women's fiction - this book is truly a must read! 


bermudaonion said...

I can't believe I've never read this author. This sounds wonderful!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Kathy, check out her work - you will LOVE it!!

bermudaonion said...

I have a couple of her books here and just need to find the time to get to them.

Brandie said...

Such a fantastic review, Nadia! I absolutely have to read this book now!

Laurie C said...

I've got to write my review! Just finished this last weekend.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Kathy, you are going to love her work! It so engrossing and thought-provoking.

Brandie, thanks! Yes, you have to read it!

Laurie C, can't wait to read your post! :)