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Accidental Happiness

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  250 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Someone once told me that groupings of objects should be displayed in threes. Three provides both tension and balance among items of varying size and heft. My sister’s accident made me an only child; my husband’s accident made me a widow. Part of me will always believe that Angel was the third, the one that left me with hope.

After her husband’s unexpected death at the age
Audio, 0 pages
Published October 11th 2004 by Random House Audio
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Mar 01, 2012 Florinda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gina Melrose is still recovering from the shocking death of her husband, Ben, when Ben's first wife, Reese, and her daughter, Angel, make an unexpected appearance in her life. Angel may or may not be Ben's daughter, and Gina - who has never wanted children, due to her lingering ambivalence and guilt over her dead younger sister, Elise - has to work though her feelings about that possibility. Reese arrives in fairly desperate straits, and with other secrets in addition to her daughter's paternity ...more
Jun 30, 2008 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I actually only got to around Chapter 10 before I gave up on the book. I liked the plot and I was interested in finding the answers to all the questions the characters had, but I couldn't stand the language. I lost track of how many times the F word was used -- not to mention all the other poor langauage -- and I found it completely unnecessary. The story would have been great without it. If poor language bothers you, unfortuntately I would recommend that you not bother with this particular book ...more
Sue Anne Akers
I was disappointed in this book. The character development was thin and inconsistent. The story was unbelievable, with medical problems invented by the author that do not exist. Certainly more research could have been done on the medical side to make the story more possible. The character of Maxine was a blip in the story, yet she was pivotal in the final chapter. Unfortunately, since the reader only gets a skeleton of an idea about her, the reader is left confused about Maxine's final action. I ...more
Interesting story - I did have a little trouble with the excessive and unnecessary profanity.
Tee Jae
May 22, 2012 Tee Jae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow starting and in some places. Loved the local setting. The twist at the end made the book!
Sep 23, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining book, but not super deep. The part of the plot I liked is probing into how the widowed woman decides to treat her dead husband's ex-wife. I wonder if all of us would be that generous or compassionate with an ex-wife in trouble.

I do love how the main character also must grapple with her feelings about having children. In the past, she had decided not to have any children, but now must re-think her choices.

The part of the book I didn't like was the new romance for the recent widow
Aug 01, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gina Melrose is trying to pull her life back together after the sudden death of her husband Ben at the age of 36. She becomes a "live-aboard" on his boat in a marina in coastal SC near the home they once shared. She is just starting to come to grips with the changes in her life when things take another dramatic turn with the arrival of a woman named Reese and her daughter Angel. Gina is surprised to find out how they intersect with her life and even more surprised to find out how much she is dra ...more
Dec 21, 2007 Patricia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-a-day
This is one of those people-in-weird-situation books. Gina is a 33 year old widow, too stunned by grief and living on her husband's boat. Late one night she hears someone board the boat and in a panic, fires her gun. The "intruders" turn out to be Reese, her husband's ex-wife and Angel, an Reese's 8 year old daughter. Angel takes a bullet in the shoulder and suddenly the widow's and the ex-wife's lives become entwined.

This was a very gripping book, and I didn't see coming the even weirder situa
May 01, 2014 Usha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent story with a plot twist ending. It gives a nice suggestion of family.
Feb 04, 2014 Niki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
This book was such a disappointment after I'd picked it up at the used bookstore based on good reviews. I don't think I made it past page 25 or so because of the horrible language. I am not a prude and I get that it's necessary to use certain words to portray characters in certain ways (education level, their anger, fear, etc.) but all three of the first adult characters we meet in this book, in my mind, are all portrayed poorly due to the constant use of one or two foul words. I'll not pick up ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I thought the premise of this book sounded interesting: Happiness often comes not in the way one might expect or look for, but perhaps totally unexpected, as if by "accident." Other than that and the bent of the major character to go forward and believe the best in a hard situation, I cannot recommend the book; it has too many uses of bad language and sexual situations that mar the content. The characters would not have been less "developed" to have left out the expletives or specifics.
Accidental Happiness is about a woman,Gina, who just lost her husband in a sudden freak accident.

Gina is having a hard time coping when her life is suddenly interrupted by her husban's x-wife and her young child. The amazing aprt is that this unwelcome "visit" from them is just what Gina needs to start the healing process.

In the end the point of the book is that happiness can be found in unusal places/ways and that "family" isn't always family in the convential sense.
Feb 14, 2009 JoAnn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good. It has a lovable cast of characters who each have issues in their past that helps to define how they deal with life today. As I was reading, I was predicting the ending, and it was different than what I thought. I found myself thinking that none of these characters acted as a real person would, so as much as they were lovable, their actions were sort of hard to believe. If only the world was that good!
More like a 2.5 stars. Reminded me of a Lifetime movie, with the exception of some of the twists. Can't say that I really liked Gina or Reese. I don't think I would have made any of the same decisions Gina made if I were in this situation, starting with whole opening scene. The writing was not bad, but there were a few scenes that probably could have been left out completely.
Oct 06, 2009 Christi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
this book was just lovely
a complex, sometimes messy family dynamic
really enjoyed the author's style and the character development
It seems like the new thing in fiction is two points of view in alternating chapters. But in this case it works. Gina is in first person and Reese is in 3rd person so it doesn't feel as jumbled or confusing as it sometimes can.
Feb 13, 2013 Vilo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book where grief and joy and loss and new possibilities all mingle, a book you want to last just a little longer even though all the plot elements have at least a hinted-at resolution. I love the idea that we can make discoveries in our present that seem to change the past--at least let us shake off our resentments and fears.
May 22, 2012 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting plot twist near the end. And the romance was a little idealistic, with a too-perfect boy friend for one of the main characters. But the MS thread hit close to home for me. I like the way this author is able to weave together so many subplots. And her resolutions are feel-good and warm, with hope that left me wanting more.
This would make a sappy hallmark movie but I still liked it. Gina is a young widow wallowing in her grief when her husband's flaky ex-wife shows up with an 8 year old daughter who could be her husband's child; and she finds out that her husband had been meeting the ex and the child right before his death. It's a good story.
Sep 03, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the title & the premise that happiness is often accidental, that it can't be 'found' necessarily. That sometimes, when we let life happen, fantastic things happen that we could never have imagined....if we stay open to possibilities & let go of preconceived notions. Maybe I got more out of it than some would ;o)
Sally F
Jul 22, 2007 Sally F rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This story was told from two points of view. A widow of a man who had died in a tragic accident and his ex-wife. I really didn't take a liking to either woman - each was so self-involved. And the story took numerous unbelievable turns - it just rang false. The ending was just too neat, too.
Oct 25, 2011 David rated it liked it
ISBN: 1415917973
ISBN-13: 9781415917978

This is a story about a widow who has her husband's first wife appear at her door. The story is told from the perspective of both women as the book progresses. Gina tries to figure out why Reese has appeared, and what her agenda is.
Jan 14, 2008 Corinne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperbook, audiobook
"I saw this book in a book store in Port Townsend. I wrote the name down and went online (WiFi in the hotel) to my library and placed a hold. Two days after I got home it was ready for me to pick up. :-)

So far I am enjoying it and find myself wanting to listen to it (it
Aug 22, 2008 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It is about a two women who were both married to the same man at different times, but this man dies. They hate eachother at first, but then the story takes an interesting twist and I honestly couldn't put it down towards the end.
Jan 27, 2012 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the good book I really enjoyed the premise of the story. I like the characters and the plot development and how you have to figure out some aspects of the story. some questionable language that the author could of left out of the story.
Dawn Michelle
Nov 17, 2007 Dawn Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Got about 25-30 pages in and had to stop. The language was horrible for me. I can actually deal with the "F" word, but when they start throwing around "J.C." as every-other-word, I am DONE!!
I would not recommend this book to anyone!
Gregory Boyce
Aug 27, 2011 Gregory Boyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I put this book off from finishing reading it for sometime, but when I did finish it, I was pleased to find how touching the story was about mental illness with dellusion and how a happiness comes to play in the end.
Jun 11, 2008 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good story, I started reading it and only got a chapter in it didn't have me hooked at the time. About a month later I picked it back up and finished it. Not one of my top reads but still pretty good.
Aug 17, 2008 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting change of pace from many of today's books. It had romance, but it also had many other life experiences, which could have different consequences if any one little detail had been handled differently.
May 14, 2007 Chrissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book. Yes, it is about a woman whose husband dies in a freak accident when he's in his 30s (I know, depressing) but I found the book really good and not a downer at all.
Oct 06, 2011 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good book about up until the end, when we really found out what was wrong with Reese. I NEVER saw that one coming! Turned it into a great book.
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