Randy Susan Meyers’ Accidents of Marriage is not your typical happily-ever-after, and I like that. Instead, what Meyers offers in black and white is brutal honesty reinforced with extensive dialogue throughout so that the reader is truly able to “listen” to each of the characters from his/her perspective.
Accidents of Marriage revolves around the marriage of Maddy and Ben, two successful professionals with three children. A tragedy occurs which pushes to the forefront a marriage and family in trouble, trouble which can no longer be ignored or masked by other means.
As for Meyers’ writing style, her descriptive detail makes use of the senses:
‘Why? That’s your first worry? Why?’ Ben smelled his musk rising- exhaustion, court, aftershave gone flat, and beery rankness. (Loc 610)
In addition, throughout, the carefully constructed dialogue offers life lessons to be absorbed by all:
She pointed her finger at him like a gun. ‘I’m not asking anything- I’m assuming you were out having a drink. But don’t try and bully your way out of anything with me.’
‘I love your daughter,’ Ben said.
‘Love isn’t an excuse for anything but treating someone well.’ (Loc 2227)
Moira’s smile lit up the face that must have been lovely before old bruises and lines set in so deep. ‘I said to myself, stop worrying about him killing you. You’re murdering yourself. All he has to do is finish the job. I’d been praying to God, not realizing that all that time God was helping, I just didn’t recognize his hand. He’d sent me you all- I just hadn’t been listening. All these years, it was like the Bible says, I’ve been a prisoner of hope.’ (Loc 4318)
If hosting a book club discussion to accompany Meyers’ Accidents of Marriage, the meal of choice should definitely be turkey meatloaf, honeyed carrot pennies, baked potatoes, and croissants in honor of Maddy’s independence.