The Accidental Marriage
written by Annette Haws
published by Cedar Fort Publishing
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book, for the most part. It kept me interested throughout. A few parts were slow, but the end moved at a good pace.
This was a good story, but I was expecting it to me a bit more light-hearted and fluffy. The Accidental Marriage has a lot of depth and delves into issues that changed the US immensely. Nina and Elliott found themselves in love and married in the 1970s. This was at the height of the equal rights for women (Title IX) and the feminist movement. Nina and Elliott are opposites in so many ways. A few times, I had to stop and remind myself of the era that this story takes place because I was surprised by Elliott’s reaction to what Nina was going through at her teaching job. (I wasn’t surprised by his expectations, or her experiences. I was just surprised by his reaction.) Such different thinking from today. It did make for interesting reading.
I liked Nina and Elliott at different times for different reasons but not consistently. There were times that I didn’t like either of them. And there were other times where I was rooting for one or the other. I liked Nina’s parents. It was surprising how forward-thinking they were, especially her father. That was refreshing and provided an interesting perspective on Nina. I liked Elliott’s father; I felt for him. I wanted to know more about him. Elliott’s mother was not a favorite, but I understood her.
The ending left me a bit disappointed. I know what the author was trying to do. I get it. I appreciate it. BUT . . . *SPOILER – ISH ALERT* I wanted to know the resolution. I wanted to know how the summer went. I wanted to know the future of Nina and Elliott.
Would I recommend it: I would.
Will I read it again: I will not.
About the book: Nina Rushforth was born with a silver spoon caught in her throat. She and her father have mapped out a future that includes a brilliant legal career, a marriage to an equally stellar attorney or Wall Street whiz kid, and eventually the production of three perfect children. A semester at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, was part of the plan, but falling in love with a handsome missionary was not.
Six months later, after Elliot returns from his mission and after a tumultuous courtship, Nina finds herself teaching at a junior high school, learning to keep house in a minuscule apartment, and living with a man who doesn’t know any more about being married than she does. Intimacy, cooking, laundry, lesson plans, and a tug-of-war with a possessive mother-in-law prove to be more overwhelming than Nina can successfully manage. The newlyweds awaken to realize the head on the adjacent pillow belongs to a stranger.
This novel captures the heartbreak of young love caught in the turbulent social crosscurrents of the 70’s, at a time when brave women struggled to find dignity and equality in the workplace, as well as peace at home.
“A thoughtful, heartbreaking, and often laugh-out-loud romp… Annette Haws explores the interesting question: What keeps a marriage together?”
–Terrell Dougan, a columnist for the Huffington Post and the author of That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for my Sister
“Haws delivers a story that makes you want to rush to the end to find out what happens and prose that makes you want to slow down and savor it.”
–Karey White, author of For What It’s Worth, Gifted, and My Own Mr. Darcy
“If you want a story with plot, character and real, deep meaning that will leave you thinking long after you’re done, this is the book for you.”
–Shannon Guymon, author of Do Over
About the author: Annette Haws’s literary strengths are based upon her experiences in the classroom. She began her teaching career as a junior high teacher in Richmond, Utah and ended it teaching Sophomore English at Murray High School in Salt Lake City. However, her favorite assignment was a five year period at Logan High School teaching English, coaching debate and mock trial, and watching the antics of her own three children who were also students in the same school.
Her first novel, Waiting for the Light to Change, won Best of State in 2009, A Whitney Award for Best Fiction, and the Diamond Quill Award for Best Published Fiction in 2009 from the League of Utah Writers. In July of 2008, the Midwest Book Review selected it as a Top Pick for Community Library Fiction Collections.