You guys. If you are married, you need to read this book. It's that great.
Accidents of Marriage - Randy Susan Meyers
Accidents of Marriage explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the destruction left in the wake of spouse’s verbal fury. Ben never meant to hurt Maddy. He never imagined his recklessness would lead to tragedy.
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.
ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the damaging effects of a spouse’s emotional abuse.
I'll be honest, I was kind of worried to read this book because I was worried it was going to be so heavy I couldn't handle it. But then I started it and could not put it down. Not at all. I talked about this to coworkers, to friends, to people sitting next to me in the doctor's office, to the lady waiting for a bagel next to me, to this woman standing in Barnes & Noble, and to a lady who had just gotten screamed at by her husband (presumably) because she couldn't get their baby to stop crying.
It is worth reading. If you are married, you need to read this. It really highlights the effects of verbal and emotional abuse, not just on the person who is taken it head on, but everyone around them that feels the effects and/or witnesses it.
The story flip flops mostly between Maddy and Ben, a married couple with three children, busy jobs, busy lives, and very little time for each other. Ben over the years has gotten worse and worse with the emotional abuse and doesn't even realize that's what he's doing. Maddy, for her part, is trying to keep the entire family together, but struggling with parenting a teenager and doesn't know how to get her marriage back to what it once was so she copes by popping pills secretly through the house just to escape a little bit. It all culminates one day in the car as Maddy's car is towed and Ben picks her up and is pretty damn angry he's late for work. On the way, he gets into a bit of road rage and propels them into a serious accident which has left him with minor injuries but Maddy in a coma.
Cue the teenager being confused, scared and angry, but ultimately caring for her two younger siblings while Ben is seemingly out of it. He has no concept of what it takes to run the household efficiently and in Maddy's absence this is glaring. Maddy's family accuses him of doing it on purpose, his family doesn't know what to think, and the police seem to think Ben has a bigger problem and are investigating him for vehicular crimes.
But what got to me through the whole book was the oldest daughter. Her perspective on what it's like to see parents fight, and what a tragedy like this does to them, was really sad. It just really is. I won't tell you what happens to Maddy, or the family, or Ben, but I will tell you this book had me to the very end. I couldn't put it down, and when I did (when I fell asleep) I had dreams about it and I felt like this was a real story with real people and it pulls at you.
Absolutely excellent book, excellent writing, this author grabs you instantly and you will love it.