Author Susan Kelly
By Accident portrays a year in the life of a woman after the accidental death of her teenage son. Laura Lucas is numbed by the loss, a loss that is paralleled in the spate of upscale construction -- and attendant destruction -- in her starter-home neighborhood. It's about Laura's relationship with a transient young tree surgeon who may be her boy-child replacement, or who may be an object of desire; and her relationship with her husband, whose ambitions have outdistanced Laura's to the point of a secretive betrayal of what Laura loves best. The story debates where solace becomes sex, the role of men and women as unmarried friends, and examines grief in a marriage. It portrays the pain of change and the poignancy of acceptance through Laura's eyes, and occasionally, through the quirky outlook of her ten-year-old daughter, the surviving child. Before the story ends, another brutal, random accident will redefine Laura's life again.
By Accident is a novel concerned with randomness in relationships, in marriage, and in nature. The story poses tough questions: What constitutes betrayal between husband and wife? Can a savior be a lover? Are either ever justified? Even as By Accident portrays a woman’s loss, grief, and recovery, it examines how friendship can dangerously evolve into desire.
Susan S. Kelly, author of By Accident
Susan S. Kelly grew up in western North Carolina in a small town of three thousand called Rutherfordton, which was the basis for the town of Cullen in Even Now. She is the oldest of three sisters, and it was an idyllic childhood of bike-riding and creek-playing and after supper games.
Susan attended St. Catherine’s School, an all girls boarding school in Richmond, Virginia. St. Catherine’s introduced her to serious literature, and she fell in love with William Faulkner and Henry James and F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course, and can still quote from all of them as well as a few Shakespeare soliloquies and the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales in old English. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where majored in English.
Susan searched real estate titles for a Raleigh law firm, then married and moved to Atlanta, where, like Pril in How Close We Come, she summarized depositions for a large firm in downtown Atlanta. She and her husband Sterling returned to North Carolina, to Greensboro, and had two boys and a girl whom they cursed with unisex names. When Susan was forty she decided to pursue her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and received her MFA from The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Currently, her oldest, Sterling, lives and works in Greensboro, NC; middle son Stafford lives and works in Charlotte NC, and daughter Preston is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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