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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing extended family drama
Three months ago Benjamin Melrose died in a car accident leaving behind a grieving widow Gina whose feelings are compounded by guilt as she insisted he, not AAA, pick her up when her car was out of gas during that fatal drive. Struggling to cope with remorse, Gina moves into her late husband's sailboat River Rose. Late one night Gina sees movement on her sailboat and...
Published on November 13, 2004 by Harriet Klausner

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
I decided to read this book after I finished A Blessed Event, which I found quite good. This story is about Gina, recently widowed, and her husband's ex-wife who comes waltzing back into her life with a daughter in tow. I found that this book was better written than Page's first, but unfortunately I got really bored about halfway through the story. I don't want to spoil...
Published on March 14, 2006 by Erin Brooks


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing extended family drama, November 13, 2004
This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
Three months ago Benjamin Melrose died in a car accident leaving behind a grieving widow Gina whose feelings are compounded by guilt as she insisted he, not AAA, pick her up when her car was out of gas during that fatal drive. Struggling to cope with remorse, Gina moves into her late husband's sailboat River Rose. Late one night Gina sees movement on her sailboat and fires a gun, shooting Angel, the daughter of Ben's first wife Reese. Gina joins Reese at the emergency room where Angel is provided medical care.

As Angel recovers, she and her mom move in with Gina, who feels she is doing the right thing by her late husband. Soon Gina begins to heal mostly because of Angel who she wonders if the kid is Benjamin's child, a question Reese refuses to answer. As Angel and Gina become close and in many ways more like a daughter-mother relationship than Reese has, the first wife begins acting bizarre making the second spouse determined to keep the potential offspring safe and nurtured at any cost to herself.

ACCIDENTAL HAPPINESS is an intriguing extended family drama in which the five key players (the two spouses, the child, the deceased and Georgie the dog) contain different personalities as each one seems real and their interplay authentic though strange. The characters make the story line with the varying relationships between each of them interesting and supportive of their particular values to include a well designed look at mental illness. Contemporary fans will appreciate this deep look at the extensive modern day family whose foci has recently passed away leaving guilt and remorse behind.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Story, Beautifully Told, March 24, 2005
This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
Accidental Happiness was that most wonderful thing, a great read, as substantial and satisfying as dinner at a five-star restaurant. The book was perfectly paced, beautifully plotted, with the authority and precision you only get with first-rate storytelling. It has an especially brilliant plot twist near the end, yielding a Tah-Dah! sort of moment when you smack your forehead and say, of course! It all makes sense now! How could I have not seen it coming? And yet, you don't.

I loved these characters for their flaws and their transcendent moments, something Jean Reynolds Page does through the kind of small epiphanies that happen to us without witnesses or guides. Gina and Reese are both vivid, real, and damaged in absolutely believable ways. There are no goddesses here, only people held together by love and a keen desire to do what's right, when it's not at all clear that there IS a right.

Page's excellent critical reviews are both well-deserved and well-earned. If you enjoy Accidental Happiness, than you'll also love the author's first novel, A Blessed Event.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!, March 14, 2006
This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
I decided to read this book after I finished A Blessed Event, which I found quite good. This story is about Gina, recently widowed, and her husband's ex-wife who comes waltzing back into her life with a daughter in tow. I found that this book was better written than Page's first, but unfortunately I got really bored about halfway through the story. I don't want to spoil the plot for any reader, but let me just say that Gina and Reese are not consistent characters, are each as insecure as the other, and each time you think you got a pretty good idea of who they are, Page throws something in the story that confuses you. I didn't find the characters that well developed and after a while, I just wanted her to get on with things rather than move so slowly through the plot, which I found unrealistic at some points. Overall, I would not recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a happiness, January 18, 2009
Sometimes we are forced into a situation that we DO NOT want to deal with. How fortunate for us when we are able to find happiness in a situation like that in spite of ourselves!

I loved the way this book read - from start to finish, it was a pleasure to read the language, the author's thoughts, the problems of others and they ways they found to deal with those problems. It may not be a classic, destined to be around forever, but my life is a little brighter for having read it. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it in the end., July 22, 2008
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Jennifer Zoller "Jenny Jenny" (Albert Lea, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This book was rather depressing at first, and I may have put it down if I hadn't needed to read it for book club. The last 100 or so pages make it all worth while. Don't bother making predictions- you'll be quite surprised at what happens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accidental Happiness, July 22, 2007
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This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
This was a really good book. The story was very "different" than most chick lit that is out there, and the characters were very real. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, intriguing, involving and moving, July 12, 2005
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Cojonu (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
I couldn't quit thinking about "Accidental Happiness" for a long time after I read it. It's the kind of book that takes what you think you know, what you'd bet your life on, and turns it upside down. This novel is beautifully written and plotted, but to me, it also read like a wonderful mystery. (I love mysteries, my favorite kind of book.)Only the mystery here involves human emotions, tragedies and, eventually, the best kind of hope. That is, the hope that the future will be better. I've shared this book with many friends. One called me, even though she knew I was in another state on vacation, just to talk to me about the book. "I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it was," she said. She and I had both read Jean Reynolds Page's first novel, A Blessed Event, and we both agreed it would be a hard act to follow. Now we both agree that Jean Reynolds Page not only lived up to the promise of her first novel, she exceeded it on every level. Not an easy thing to do when "A Blessed Event" rated as one of my all-time favorites.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!, April 21, 2005
This review is from: Accidental Happiness: A Novel (Hardcover)
I listened to this book on cd and it is just wonderful. What a wonderful story!
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Accidental Happiness: A Novel
Accidental Happiness: A Novel by Jean Reynolds Page (Hardcover - January 25, 2005)
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