Wednesday, June 9, 2010

By Accident by Susan Kelly (Review)

By Accident: A Novel
Title:  By Accident
Author:  Susan Kelly
Publisher:  Pegasus Books
Publication Date:  May 2010
Format:  Hardcover, 304 pages
Age Group:  Adult

Laura Lucas is grieving the death of her son, who should have been college bound in the fall.  She grieves as an island - isolated and disconnected from everything and everyone she used to love.  Then she and her daughter, Ebie, meet the young man next door and Laura begins to show signs of life again.  By Accident examines relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children.

By Accident is beautifully written.  I could feel the heaviness of Laura's grief and her frustration with her husband as he tried to force her out of it.  I understood her anger at the construction happening in her neighborhood.  The changes are happening too quickly and she is unable to hold on to what once was and what should have been.

Relationships are at the heart of the story.  Laura and her husband go in different directions after their son's death.  Russ and his business partner go in different directions as well, in part causing Laura to lose her best friend of many years.  New relationships develop when Elliot moves in next door.  Lines are drawn in the sand, crossed, and redrawn as the characters try to find their place in a world that keeps shifting under their feet and throwing them off balance.

I loved the beginning of the book and felt that it ended exactly how it should have.  There were a few things in the latter half that bothered me but it was only because I didn't want the characters to make those choices, even though I saw how they got there and how those choices led to the ending.  I think the chapters in Ebie's voice were a wonderful break from Laura's heavy grief and gave a different perspective to the story.

This review is based on an advance reading copy of By Accident which was sent to me by Marissa at JKSCommunications.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post.