Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Accident of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers Book Review

Accidents of Marriage PB

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (June 9, 2015)

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.

 Accidents of Marriage holds readers from the first page to the last.

 “This novel’s unsparing look at emotional abuse and its devastating consequences gives it gravity and bite, while a glimpse into a physically damaged mind both surprises and fascinates.”People Magazine

 “A complex, captivating tale.Boston Globe

 “A deft exploration of the borders of abuse and the aftermath of tragedy, the triumphs and disappointments of recovery, and the possibilities of faith and forgiveness.”—Star Tribune

“Unputdownable and unforgettable. I just loved it—and I’ll now read everything Randy Susan Meyers writes.Liane Moriarty, NYT bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret

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My Review

I read the synopsis of this book and was intrigued. I don't read a lot of books that focus on the intricacies of marriage, so couldn't wait to read this one.

This story focuses not only on Maddy and Ben, the married couple, but on their family as well. Maddy is a social worker who seems to be in charge of everything when it comes to the kids and the running of the household. Not that she doesn't ask for help from Ben. But in Ben's eyes, his work as an attorney is much more important and with the temper that seems to flair at the drop of a hat, Maddy just caves in and does it instead of causing him to fly off into one of his rages.

Emma, Ben and Maddy's oldest daughter, seems to be part mother to the two younger children, Caleb and Gracie. With a mom who seems to be pulled in so many directions, she knows how unfair it is for a 14 year old to have to do so much but helps anyway. There is resentment towards her father, a man she doesn't see as often as she would like and when she does she isn't sure what kind of mood he might be in.

Things change one day after an oversight on Maddy's part causes her to be without a car. Calling Ben for a ride, when he is already running late, causes him to not only be angry, but to become reckless in his driving. An accident ensues and the book focuses on the aftermath.

Maddy has a long road ahead of her and the book does a great job of showing the perspective of Ben, the kids and Maddy's parents and in-laws. Emma was by far my favorite character. Both Ben and Maddy were hard to like most of the time, although I found the characters very well written. Ben is not a nice man - a narcissist in the classic sense of the word. And Maddy continues to put up with it, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man she married - a man, who in reality, is not much different now than he was then.

Seeing how the dynamic of the marriage is written was also nice to read. You see how Ben does feel bad when he treats his family poorly, but it doesn't stop him from continuing to do it. Even after the accident, he makes a mistake that I think is unforgivable under any circumstance, but I still knew why he did it. He just seemed like an unhappy man for the most part, even when he was engaged with his family.

Overall, Accidents of Marriage takes you along the path of a family through the eyes of multiple characters, a family with a tragic accident that changes all of their lives forever.

3 1/2 stars

Randy Susan Meyers

About Randy Susan Meyers

The drama of Randy Susan Meyers’ novels is informed by her work with families impacted by emotional and family violence. Her newest novel, Accidents of Marriage, examines the slippery definitions of emotional abuse and explores tragic circumstances forcing a family to challenge the dynamics that have long-defined them. Randy is a founding member of Beyond The Margins, a site dedicated to the craft of writing and the business of publishing, and coauthored the guide, What To Do Before Your Book Launch, with writer M.J. Rose.  She lives in Boston with her husband, where she teaches at Grub Street Writer’s Center.

 Find out more about Randy at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. It is crazy how one little thing can trigger a series of events that result in a tragedy. It's actually kind of scary.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!