Exploring emotional abuse and traumatic brain injury with unflinching honesty, Accidents Of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers (Atria Books; Trade Paperback June 9, 2015) is a clear and immediately engaging account of life inside of a marriage and the choices that can make the difference between living in hell and salvation. Now available in paperback, Meyer’s critically acclaimed novel “isn’t for anyone who insists on happy endings, but it rewards readers in deeply satisfying ways.” (Boston Globe)
For Madeline Illica, the love of her husband, Ben, was her greatest blessing and biggest curse. Brilliant and charming, Ben could turn into a raging bull when crossed—and despite her training as a social worker, Maddy never knew what would cross him. When Ben was in a conciliatory mood, they worked on techniques for communication and anger management, but on the day of the accident nothing seemed to help. He was furious at having to drive Maddy to work, the road was wet, and that SUV was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ben never meant for them to go off the road or for Maddy to go flying through the windshield. Now she’s on a ventilator in intensive care and no one knows if she’ll re-awaken from her coma and, if she does, whether she’ll ever be her old self. Maddy’s family blames Ben. Maddy’s friends blame Ben. The children blame Ben. Ben blames Ben—and he is sick to the pit of his soul over the fear of losing his one true love. Fourteen-year-old Emma sees things a little differently. She desperately misses her mother but misses being a teenager more as she’s forced to pick up the slack from Ben and parent her younger siblings, Gracie and Caleb. On the cusp of coming of age, she needs Maddy so she can discuss the hard decisions she’s being forced to make. And her confrontations with her volatile father are growing more heated by the day.
Randy Susan Meyers is the author of The Comfort of Lies and The Murderer’s Daughters, contributor to The Huffington Post and a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. Her writing is informed by her work with batterers and victims of domestic violence, as well her experience with youth impacted by street violence. “Working with batterers taught me far more than I can put in a paragraph” says the novelist, “but here is my version on the most important take-away: never underestimate the hatred some men have of women. […] We do not choose to hit and scream at our bosses. We choose to hit and scream at people in our homes. The hierarchy of power always comes into play.”
Meyers will be launching the paperback release of Accidents of Marriage with actress Marianne Leone (Christopher Moltisanti’s mother in the tv series, The Sopranos), author of Knowing Jesse: A Mother’s Story, and Leone’s husband, Oscar winner Chris Cooper, on June 18 at 7 p.m. at Bella Luna Restaurant at 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain, Boston. The proceeds resulting from sales of the book during the event will be matched and donated to AccesSportAmerica, a national nonprofit founded in 1995 by Rev. Ross and based in Massachusetts. The organization aims to promote higher function and fitness for children and adults of all disabilities through high-challenge sports and training. The exhilaration inherent to each sport is just a part of the experience which fosters positive change in function and fitness as well as attitude: programs are designed to promote each person’s highest physical and athletic potential while cultivating social, cognitive and emotional well-being.
Meyers seeks out connections between her novels and the groups to whom she donates: she met and became friend with actress Marianne Leone when they fell in love with each other’s books. Knowing Jesse: A Mother’s Story Of Grief, Grace, And Everyday Bliss is the story of Marianne and Chris Cooper’s son who suffered with cerebral palsy and died from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy) in 2005. In her fiercely honest and heartbreaking memoir, the actress narrates how the remarkable life and untimely death of her child transformed her life. Meyer’s book release event, which is free to the public, will include a reading and discussion on “Remarkable Fathers and Family” – just in time for Father’s Day, as well as prizes and entertainment.