Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Accidental Marriage by Annette Haws

Publication Date: December 10, 2013
ISBN: 9781462113743
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing

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.

I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the time period of the 70's that the book is set in.  It was such a turbulent time and I thought the author did a great job of capturing the social changes happening during that time.  

Nina and Elliot fall in love.  They get married.  They are young and idealistic as most of us are when we get married.  Then real life sets in and well, attraction can only take you so far.  There were many newly married instances in this book that I could relate to in some way or another.  There is always an adjustment period, some rough patches and compromise.  I think because Nina and Elliot were from such different backgrounds and had such different expectations, this made the hard things even harder.

The in-law's certainly didn't help the situation at all and actually pushed the relationship to the breaking point.  It was a good reminder of how judging others can hurt.  If Nina and Elliott had received support and love from parents I believe their journey would have been much different.

I felt for both Nina and Elliot at different times.  There was a lot of emotion throughout the book.  I guess my only real complaint (if you can really even call it that) was that the book seemed to go on and on.  It felt like the epic saga of Nina and Elliot.  There were just so many problems and issues that at times it felt like overload.  I did mostly enjoy the book though and like I said, the 70's setting was my favorite part of the book.

The characters in this book are LDS and there are religious things mentioned though nothing preachy that I can remember.

You can buy The Accidental Marriage at the following places:

About Annette: 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.

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