Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: This was a gripping book, but more tense than emotionally moving, and I didn’t feel as though the main character had enough agency.
“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.” (Source)
I really liked the idea of this book, but in practice I found it much less emotionally moving than similar books I’ve read recently (Five Days Left, for example). Like Five Days Left, Accidents of Marriage shows some of the frustrations associated with disabilities caused by disease or injury. I think that makes both of these books very worthwhile reminders to be patient with others. Also, although these kind of events might feel emotionally manipulative to some, I’m a sucker for books where people try to find happiness despite such challenges. However, in Accidents of Marriage, I didn’t feel we got to see Maddy changing in response to her injury. It’s clear that to go on would have required great strength of character given the challenges Maddy faces. From what we get to see, though, it seems as if most of the changes in her life are precipitated by the accident. There’s very little of Maddy choosing to make changes on her own.
Another thing that bothered me was Ben’s character. I was excited that we also got his perspective and hoped it would add some complexity to the story, but even from Ben’s perspective, he has no redeeming qualities. This meant that I spent a lot of the book stressing that he might become physically violent and that Maddy might forgive him for everything. I would rather have felt emotionally invested in their relationship. It would have been nice to see why it was so hard for Maddy to realize that Ben’s behavior was unacceptable and to empathize with why she feel in love with him in the first place. Despite these shortcomings, this was a very enjoyable read. The plot was my kind of plot, the writing was beautiful, and some of the challenges Maddy and her children faced were very moving. I just would have liked to see more character growth from Maddy and less pure evil from Ben.