Tag Archives: Randy Susan Meyers

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-9-17 #IMWAYR

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This weekly update has turned into more of a monthly update…

Recently Finished Books

The Widow of Wall Street
Meyers, Randy Susan
Simon & Schuster, 2017

The Widow of Wall Street is the best of several novels I’ve read recently that deal with the families and fallout from the financial crisis of 2008. The main character is Phoebe, the wife of a man whose dealings on Wall Street go beyond shady. The chapters that are written from Jake’s point of view are the weakest, but give readers an idea of how people justify criminal acts even to themselves. The novel’s slow build-up made me a little impatient as the readers know what’s going on from the beginning, long before clueless Phoebe, but the book’s long time span realistically conveys how a spouse can be oblivious or in denial about the other spouse’s activities, even over a lifetime.

Read The Widow of Wall Street if you like novels about marriages and families dealing with the fallout from a crisis or that delve deeply into one person’s life, mining it for meaning. It was not a favorite of mine, but is worth reading and would make a good book club choice.

Recently Finished Audiobooks

Gwendy’s Button Box
King, Stephen and Chizmar, Richard
Read by Maggie Siff
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2017

audiobook cover imageGwendy’s Button Box is an old-school horror novella that fit right in with the Reading in Peril challenge (#RIPXII) I started this month, so I’ll review it in a separate post. Recommended for anyone who wants to dip a toe into horror or has been afraid to try a full-length Stephen King book.

The Late Show
Connelly, Michael
Hachette Audio, 2017

audiobook cover imageThe Late Show introduces a new detective character,  a young woman, Renee Ballard, who works the overnight shift on the LAPD. (Don’t worry, there’s still a new Harry Bosch book coming out later this year, too.) Male author Michael Connelly has created a tough female detective, extremely capable of handling herself in a predominantly male world, but the book did disappoint me at one point by having Renee placed in a scene with a criminal that made her appear vulnerable in a way that a male detective character rarely, if ever, is.

A Fatal Winter
Malliet, G.M.
Dreamscape, 2012
audiobook cover imageMax Tudor, parish vicar and former MI5 agent, is invited to the local castle to solve a locked-room murder mystery puzzle.

Currently Reading

Slade House by David Mitchell (audiobook)

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The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (for book club)

book cover imageFor book club this week, we’re also going to watch Practical Magic, and compare book to movie.

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Did you know Alice Hoffman has a prequel to Practical Magic coming out tomorrow from Simon & Schuster? It’s called The Rules of Magic.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

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Trauma in the Family: Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers

cover imageJust selected as a 2015 Massachusetts Book Award Must-Read title, Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers portrays a marriage – already a little unsteady  – and a family rocked by traumatic brain injury and its aftermath. It really puts a reader through the wringer.

In Accidents of Marriage, a professional couple – husband Ben is a public defender and wife Maddy is a social worker – and their teenage daughter Emma and two younger children are all usually stressed out with getting to where they all need to be on time, and getting ready for the next day. Ben gets angry a lot, letting off steam, and everyone is on edge much of the time. But that’s before the accident, when life could still be considered to be normal.

Chapters from Ben’s, Maddy’s, and Emma’s perspectives show different facets of the story, as the author turns it around and around for us to see all the moments we are unaware of except in hindsight, all the “if only”s.

Reading about the unraveling of a family can be painful, especially when the situations and dialogue are as realistic as in Accidents of Marriage, but I was drawn in by the story. Although it’s sad to watch the wreck of a family, even a fictional one.

The idea of Massachusetts Must Read titles is that they foster discussion; Accidents of Marriage would definitely make a great book club title. Readers could talk about the roots of problems like those Ben and Maddy faced in their marriage; about the process of recovering one’s “self” after a brain injury; about different forms of abuse; about the children in a situation like this; caregiving after an accident; and about the people in Ben and Maddy’s extended family.

Put Accidents of Marriage on your list when you’re looking for a book along the lines of Still Alice, Alice Bliss, or Anne Tyler’s latest, A Spool of Blue Thread, that is as much about the inner lives of family members struggling through grief and loss than about what happens to them and what they do.