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.
Praise for THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE:
“A thoughtful, heartbreaking, and often laugh-out-loud romp… Annette Haws explores the interesting question: What keeps a marriage together?”
–Terrell Dougan, a columnist for the Huffington Post and the author of That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for my Sister
“Haws delivers a story that makes you want to rush to the end to find out what happens and prose that makes you want to slow down and savor it.”
–Karey White, author of For What It’s Worth, Gifted, and My Own Mr. Darcy
“If you want a story with plot, character and real, deep meaning that will leave you thinking long after you’re done, this is the book for you.”
–Shannon Guymon, author of Do Over
And my own praise….
I’ve not yet written my review for this book but it was one of my favorite reads of 2013. Many books are quite “forgettable” but this one was not. I really enjoyed it!
Guest Post: City or Country
Annette Haws has that nasty virus—drippy nose and a barking cough–so she gave me a quick call to see if I could fill in and write this blog. I’m Nina, by the way, the main character in her book, The Accidental Marriage. Kathy gave us a list of opposites, (Choose one and write about it.) but she didn’t include Elliot and me on her list, and we are about as opposite as two people can be. Sometimes I think male/female says it all; but truthfully, our differences are larger than simple questions of gender. When I saw city or country on Kathy’s list, it leaped off the page.
Elliot is a guy’s kind of guy. Broad shouldered and tall, he was the hero of his high school basketball team. The eldest of seven children, he is the family’s alpha male, and he expects people to defer to him and is surprised when they don’t. He’s confident but not conceited, and life has generally landed in his lap–until he married me.
Elliot loves living in that small college town; he loves getting up every morning and knowing each mountain protecting that narrow valley will be exactly where it was the night before. He knows everyone he meets on the street and everyone knows him, knows his mother, knows his grandparents, his siblings and his first grade teacher. We’re talking about thick convoluted roots that go right down to the beginning of time. A cousin even whispered about a Shoshone great-great grandmother which would explain those beautiful brown eyes and dark hair, but that little bit of information has never made it onto a pedigree sheet filled out by Elliot’s mother. She’s all about family, but her progenitors are victims of her post mortem whitewash, and her seven perfect children have an umbilical cord that’s never been cut.
I, on the other hand, would love to spend a month or two living in a garret on the Ile St. Louis in the heart of the Paris. I don’t want to bomb in and out on some Murdock Travel five-day blitz tour. I want to smile at strangers, try out my high school French, live on chocolate éclairs and baguettes spread thick with butter. I want to wander along the left bank of the Seine and gawk at the bouquinistes peddling postcards, 19th century nudes, and an occasional rare first-edition from their raised green boxes. I want to hide from Elliot in the woods at Versailles and laugh at his shocked face when he realizes why Mary Antoinette escaped to that cozy little Petit Trianon. Scandalous. I want to climb the spiral stairs up four flights to our garret, fling open my window, and call to the people strolling in the narrow street below, “I love my adorable husband. Il me rend ravie!”
Author Annette Haws
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.