Book Review: The Accidental Marriage by Annette Haws

18275669Title: The Accidental Marriage

Author: Annette Haws

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Release Date: December 10, 2013


Book Summary:

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 70s, at a time when brave women struggled to find dignity and equality in the workplace, as well as peace at home.

At first I only kind of liked this book, but by the end I really liked it. I think this was partially because I was kind of expecting something somewhat light and fluffy and it was not. And I felt weighed down for part of the book by all the trials they were going through, ones of their own creation and ones from external sources. Honestly, what kept me reading were Elliot and Nina. They drew me in from the beginning, despite their imperfections.  
One aspect of the book that I found intriguing was the issues of sexual harassment and women’s rights at a time when the laws and norms I take for granted today were only ideas and hopes. I also think there is some good marriage advice and lessons to be learned from this book. 
I would consider this book clean. The physical intimacy as well as sexual harassment are tactfully portrayed. However, I do think it is meant for a more mature audience. I probably wouldn’t give it to a middle schooler. 
The end of the book really drew me in and even made me tear up a couple times. I did feel like the story wasn’t quite complete when I finished it. I expected an epilogue or something more, but perhaps there will be a sequel. Overall I enjoyed reading this book. 
Rating: 4.5 stars – Highly Recommend
Content: Clean – physical intimacy and sexual harassment tactfully portrayed
Source: Review Copy
This book can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble


  1. Thanks for your review, Karen! I started this book and haven’t liked it as much as I thought I would… but after reading your review I think I will pick it back up and try it again!

  2. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy!

  3. I read this last year for its tour and ended up really loving it, even though it was painful (I teared up too). I think it felt real in a lot of ways. Nothing is sugar coated and there was a good representation of real marital problems and imperfect characters. I also loved Nina and Elliot and they really made the story. I loved their dialogue and the love they have for each other even though it comes with imperfect expectations. It’s a really, really good book!