Accidental Marriage Book Club: Chapters 3-6

7

Welcome to the Accidental Marriage Book Club! We’re reading Accidental Marriage, by Roger Thomas.

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As I finished chapter two, I did not want to continue reading.  The characters were starting to go places I didn’t think were very healthy; Megan especially seemed naive and she and Scott had a level of denial about what they were truly doing.  But I continued to read and began to get caught up in the story.

These two young people, Scott and Megan, are trying so hard to please others.  Megan wants to please her partner Diane, and Scott is drawn to Megan.  As they draw closer physically and emotionally, there is an underlying sense of disbelief as each act they engage in sets a huge chain of events in motion.  Scott’s dreams reflect that out-of-control feeling.

Megan wants to be loved, and she says enough about her relationship with Diane that you know she isn’t loved by her.  Even a baby doesn’t sway Diane; in fact, she uses the baby to push Megan even further away.  The more Scott hears about Diane’s mistreatment of Megan, the more protective he becomes: willing to change his life for her and the life they have created.

At this point, Megan and Scott’s relationship seems to me to mirror many people’s.  They find themselves in a situation that surprises them, and the intensity of their feelings about family and life overrides their selfishness.  The choices they make are reflecting the knowledge that there is a greater good to strive for, that protecting and caring for a new life is a priority.  Each of them is willing to make better decisions now that they are not only thinking about themselves.  I found it so poignant that though Megan really did not want a baby to begin with she does not consider abortion an option even when she loses everything.

Both Megan and Scott struck me with how naive they are about life.  It reminds me of myself when I was young and getting married.  I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into, except I was sure it would be perfect and easy and fun.  As the story progresses, Megan and Scott grow in their friendship and commitment to one another.  It is amazing to me how much Scott is willing to do to take care of Megan.

These two people are in a very difficult and troubling situation.  They have, in a sense, been thrown together trying to please another person and now have no one to turn to but each other.  Now they decide to make their relationship official and legal for the sake of the baby.  At this point, while I see the practical purpose it serves, I wonder if will work out for the best.

To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:

  1. Have you ever been in a situation where you sense there are problems in a friend’s relationship with parent/spouse/child?  Were you able to do something to help?
  2.  Megan’s situation with Diane and her job are becoming increasingly difficult.  Scott is growing much more concerned as Megan discloses her troubles.  Why do you think Scott is so concerned?
  3. Scott dreams throughout the story.  Do your dreams ever point to things that are happening in your life?  Do they give you insight into your behavior or possible solutions to problems?
  4. Megan and Scott’s relationship is totally changing, probably in ways they never expected.  In your own life, has helping a friend ever moved your relationship to one that is like family?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week’s reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.

Next week, we’ll cover Chapters 7-8. For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Accidental Marriage Book Club page.

Copyright 2014 Deanna Bartalini

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About Author

Deanna Bartalini is a Catholic wife, mom, writer and educator. Deanna has been married for over 30 years and raised two wonderful adults. She is the Director of Faith Formation at St. Edward Catholic Church in Palm Beach, FL. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, she serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com and contributed to our latest Catholic Mom title, A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.

7 Comments

  1. I think that he feels a bit responsible because he played a huge part. While the ladies relationship seems to have been borderline abusive, if he had not tried to “help” in the way that he did, the relationship may not have ended in quite so bad a way. The way the ai happened instigated a big stink and if they would have had to pay money, the couple may not have been conceived.

    Plus, he seems to have worried about her before but had no idea the chaos he was getting involved in. If he had, he may have thought twice.

    I’m always amazed at our inability to foresee consequences of our actions…

    • I had the same thoughts as Jen. I thought he was trying so hard to help Megan that his judgement became clouded. I feel that this who Scott is… a “fixer”. He feels responsible for other people’s happiness. I think he truly believed he would be helping Megan’s situation with Diane. However, I was uneasy with the fact that he never met Diane. Perhaps if they Scott met Diane, he would not have agreed to go through with conceiving a baby with them. Now that Diane has abandon Megan,he feels responsible for Megan and the baby. He knows how it feels to be abandon and therefore refuses to do the same thing his father did to him.

      • That’s an interesting point, would Scott have thought helping Megan conceive was a good idea if he had met Diane? He hopefully would have seen her more clearly than Megan did at that point.

  2. When Scott suggests to Megan that they get married and that it doesn’t have to mean anything, Megan replies that marriage always means something. I keep pondering this thought. Megan knows this step will change things for them, but Scott seems clueless. I see growth in the two characters already, I look forward to finding out what marriage will come to mean for them.

    As I consider my own marriage, it has come to mean something very different than what I initially thought it would. Are Megan and Scott so different than the rest of us?

  3. It’s certainly true that Scott’s understanding of marriage is much more cavalier than Megan’s (as evidenced by statements like, “can’t it mean what we want it to mean?”) But there was also a clue in the prior chapter as to why Scott would be so swift to come to Megan’s aid. (Hint: it’s during the dream.) There will be more clues in the following chapters.

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