Monday, August 11, 2014

No Bow On This One: Accidents of Marriage

Accidents of Marriage: A Novel

About the Book:
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.

My Comments:
Interesting tile.  Catholics consider marriage to be a sacrament. Another sacrament is the Eucharist and part of Eucharistic theology is a discussion of "accidents" vs. substance.  "Accidents" are defined as  physical attributes - that is, what can be seen, touched, tasted, or measured, which is different from "substance", or deepest reality.  As Catholics we believe that during the Mass, the accidents of the bread and wine remain the same, but the substance, the deepest reality is changed to the Body and Blood of Christ.  In this book the accidents of Maddy and Ben's marriage are changed, but is the deepest reality?  You'll have to read the book to find out.

As noted above, Ben has anger problems, and one day that anger leads to a car accident that leaves Maddy with a traumatic brain injury.  She is in a coma for weeks and when she wakes, she has a lot of deficits to overcome.  This is the story of her family and her marriage during those times.  

Ben was raised Catholic; Maddy as a Jew.  As a married couple, they have not raised their children in either faith, or any faith.  When their mom is injured some of the kids seek God and pray but they never learn enough to understand the whole concept.  At the end of the book Maddy explains to her daughter that they didn't want the kids to hate--that's why they aren't religious. 

There are intimate scenes in the book but the conversation and situation is far more important than the mechanics, and if you are looking for an instruction manual, this isn't it.  

I read a lot of romance novels and one thing I like about them is their happily ever after tied up in a bow endings.  This book doesn't have that.  It ends with hope, not with finality and not with everything settled.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via Edelweiss.  Grade:  A


  1. Oh, that looks like one that's right up my alley...

  2. Interesting premise. I am intrigued!

  3. Great review. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous9:52 AM

    I think I'll put that on my to read list. Thanks!

  5. This sounds really interesting, particularly the conflicting religious structures at play.


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