Accidents of Marriage; Randy Susan Meyers
My past experience reading of what Randy Susan Meyers has written has been very positive, so I was anxious to try her most recent offering, Accidents of Marriage. This story is one that explores the effects emotional abuse and anger issues has on a family.
In this story the Illica family lives in Boston. Ben is a powerful public defender and, Maddy, a social worker. Maddy also bears the full responsibility of seeing that things run smoothly at home. The couple has (3) children Emma 14, Gracie 9, and Caleb 7. Maddy has an awful lot on her mind and is sometimes understanably frazzled and disorganized.
Ben has an explosive personality, and his fits of anger that are mostly directed at his wife. He's hypercritical and unforgiving when things don't run smoothly in the house. The children have seen more than their share of their parents marital disharmony. One day after a particularly heated incident, Ben and Maddy are in the car with Ben driving when he becomes involved in a road rage incident. After swerving his car and losing control, Maddy is thrown from the car and suffers a traumatic head injury. She spends time in a coma, and then there is a long rehab process, and her family is deeply affected.
There are some interesting family dynamics to disect here, but more then anything, this novel shows just how abuse can affect the family unit. I found myself yelling at several of the characters as I read, as the author examines whether this marriage is beyond repair. For the most part, the POV changes between Ben, Maddy and the oldest daughter, Emma.
I started listening to the audio version, read by Susan Bennett, but before long I had to change to the eBook, the explosive outbursts by Ben were difficult to listen to for any length of time. He sounded so angry and hateful, and Maddy seemed nervous and as if constantly walking around on eggshells. This is definitely a tough subject to read about, and although the author did a good job with the material, I was glad when I finally got to the last page. I can't recommend this book, but I do highly recommend, The Murderer's Daughters and The Comfort The Comfort of Lies by this author.