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Accidents of Marriage: A Novel Paperback – June 9, 2015
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"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)
“Meyers’ novel explores how destructive emotional abuse by itself can be. . . [and] deftly deploys a large cast of major and minor characters in telling this complex story. Her painstaking description of both emotional abuse and brain injury are impressive. Accidents of Marriage isn’t for anyone who insists on happy endings, but it rewards readers in deeply satisfying ways. A complex, captivating tale.” (Boston Globe)
“Meyers puts a Boston family overwhelmed by a tragic accident under the literary microscope. Meyers, who has a background working with victims of domestic violence, examines the effects anger and violence can have on family members, as well as the courage that can be born from a new perspective and the lack of happily-ever-after in these real-life situations. The characters labor under intense pressure, and some crack while others rise to the challenge, giving Meyers’ tale both realism and a bittersweet quality that, in the hands of a lesser writer, could have ended up simply maudlin and contrived. Beautifully written, poignant and thought-provoking, this novel refuses to succumb to stereotypical reader expectations, making it even more memorable.” (Kirkus (starred review))
"Sensitively written." (Library Journal)
"Meyers is quickly taking her place among the ranks of women’s fiction authors who write big-issue novels that explore the inner lives of women in crisis without descending into melodrama or cliché. Readers who enjoy Barbara Delinsky, Amy Hatvany, and Jodi Picoult will want to add Meyers to their to-read list." (Booklist)
"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)
"Meyers writes compellingly; Maddy’s recovery is detailed and wrenching, as are vivid portraits of the children’s reactions to their family’s turmoil." (Concord Monitor)
"Many books are an absolute pleasure to read, but slip straight from your mind. Accidents of Marriage is one of those rare novels that is both unputdownable and unforgettable. I just loved it, and I'll now read everything Randy Susan Meyers writes." (Liane Moriarty New York Times bestselling author of The Husband's Secret)
"Maddy and Ben have a complicated marriage. He’s got anger issues; she is messy and forgetful. One fateful morning these character traits clash – with devastating consequences. In this beautifully written novel, Randy Susan Meyers traces how the repercussions of a car accident expose fissures and long-held resentments from the past that force these characters to question everything. This is a wise and penetrating book.” (Christina Baker Kline #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train)
"An incredibly accomplished and satisfying read, with an important message." (Jane Green New York Times bestselling author of Tempting Fate)
"I read Accidents of Marriage in one day. Like Meyers' first two novels, this one—about a family paying a high price for rage and trying to reknit itself in the aftermath of the unthinkable—is compulsive reading. It's amazing how warm Meyers' writing is even as her stories grip you by the hand and don't let go." (Jenna Blum New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us)
"With the heart of a novelist and the tenacity of an investigative journalist, Meyers flawlessly depicts the evolution and consequences of emotional abuse. A master of perspective with an uncanny understanding of human nature, she has managed to make us empathize with every member of this damaged family. This is an important story, one I’ll be thinking about for a long time." (Brunonia Barry New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader)
"Randy Susan Meyers is a genius of the human heart, and Accidents of Marriage is a profound education on the complexities of love, imperfection, damage, and responsibility. You'll feel as though a magically insightful friend is sharing the behind-the-scenes secrets of a family you may well know. She tells it like it is. No sugar-coating here, only truth in all its compelling beauty and might." (Robin Black author of Life Drawing)
"Every marriage has its secret deals and compromises. In Accidents of Marriage, Randy Susan Meyers explores the vast complexity of this bond and lays out how passion, allegiance and love can go terribly wrong. She gives us characters we root for, even when they’re at odds, and she asks the questions:What is forgivable? When does a marriage become too broken to fix? With wisdom, humor and great compassion, Meyers answers in a story you won’t soon forget." (Ann Bauer The Forever Marriage)
"A bold and poignant look into the complicated, slippery world of what constitutes emotional abuse, Accidents of Marriage explores what happens when tragic circumstance forces one family to reexamine the dysfunctional dynamics that have long-defined them. Meyers deftly pulled me in to this story from the first page, tying me to its tender and fearless heartbeat, and didn't let me go until the extremely satisfying end." (Amy Hatvany author of Safe With Me)
"The intertwined traumas of emotional abuse and brain injury careen through every family member in this disturbing and deeply insightful story. Meyers captures the necessity and complexity of excavating the truth as the foundation of life moving forward." (Janet Cromer author of Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple's New Life after Brain Injury)
About the Author
Randy Susan Meyers is the bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage, The Comfort of Lies, and The Murderer’s Daughters. Her books have twice been finalists for the Mass Book Award and named “Must Read Books” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. She lives with her husband in Boston, where she teaches writing at the Grub Street Writers’ Center.
Top customer reviews
Maddy, Ben, and their children's story was incredibly moving. You really get a sense of the relationships and honestly, I could relate to portions of the story of Maddy and Ben's marriage. Maddy's brain injury and the uncertainty, healing, and accomplishments felt so real. I also felt for Emma, who shouldered so much as a teen during a traumatic event. I really cared about Maddy and her family and was happy to see her strength throughout. I loved the ending, which I won't reveal as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone.
There is one recurring theme in their relationship: Ben's quick temper that sometimes seems to erupt with no warning. His impatience, his yelling, and the way he seems to be someone she doesn't even know...these features to his personality have Maddy questioning everything about her life.
Their three children are showing the signs of the strain between them. Emma, 15, is increasingly out of control, and the younger two, Gracie and Caleb, are on the verge of following suit.
Then on a rainy day on a Boston freeway, as Ben rushes, after reluctantly picking up a stranded Maddy, there is a horrific accident. And yes, a tailgater is partially responsible, but Ben was driving too fast and too angrily...and now Maddy lies in a coma.
What will become of their family now?
The story is narrated by Ben, Emma, and Maddy.
It is a tale of Before and After, and it is a sad reminder of how driving while enraged can be just as devastating as driving while intoxicated. And Ben, who I would characterize as a Rage-a-holic, needs serious treatment. In many ways, his personality resembles that of a certain type of addict that those in the program call "King Baby." Everything is all about him and his needs, and his rage is his very infantile reaction to not getting what he wants when he wants it.
I liked Maddy and empathized with her struggle as she tried to recover from a serious brain injury. Emma was struggling and carrying too much responsibility for a young girl, and even though other family members stepped up, there was really nobody there for Maddy. Ben's efforts were almost pointless, coming as they did with his resentments on full view and delivered with heavy sighs.
A story that could have taken an easy way out, Accidents of Marriage: A Novel did not tie up all the issues with a pretty bow at the end, but I was left hoping that Maddy would make the choices that were right for her and for the children. Ben, on the other hand, was so unlikeable that I did not really care what happened to him. Wonderful read recommended for those who enjoy family drama and dysfunctional relationships. 5.0 stars.
complete sense. This is about the dynamics of a family ~ an egocentric
husband/father, a loving (if reluctant) wife and 3 kids who are living
in an environment that's intense.
It was amazing to me how I felt I truly knew each and every character
in this. Meyers did an awesome job at character development. I would
recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
I realized today, in August 2017, that I had marked it read but failed to write a review.Read more
The very best thing about this audio book was the narrator. She did a convincing job with the voice of a woman with a head injury.Read more
But needed more to conclude maybe the author is planning a second book I don't know