The Accidental Marriage
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover (Autographed)
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What does heroism look like? When does friendship become too costly? Do we ever truly touch one another, or are we doomed to walk alone forever? Can love survive trials, or does it inevitably wither and die?
The Accidental Marriage is a contemporary story that explores these questions through vibrant, sympathetic characters whose struggles and triumphs illustrate that love doesn't always look like you would expect.
Scott and Megan are friends who live and work in the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area. Mostly contented with their jobs and same-sex relationships, they meet for lunch and sympathetic conversation from time to time.
When Megan's partner wants a baby, Scott offers to help. The ensuing complications force Scott and Megan to grapple with how much they're willing to sacrifice for friendship and for the child they've conceived. When Megan's situation unravels, Scott must step up to responsibilities he's never assumed before.
Then his circumstances start to crumble, and a series of misfortunes strip them of everything but each other. They end up back in Scott's small Midwestern hometown which he thought he'd left forever. There he learns dark secrets of his own past, and ultimately is forced to wrestle with a terrible legacy which he must master or be destroyed by.
Roger Thomas is a self-employed computer consultant and corporate instructor who lives in Michigan with his wife Ellen. They have raised six children and are now helping those children raise their 14 (at last count) grandchildren. He loves reading, especially works by the Inklings, and baking bread to enjoy with homemade grape jam. From Afar is his third book.
If this book does nothing else, it should remind us all that we are all human. There are no monsters here. All too often, in comboxes and in snide little corners, I see defensiveness and nasty snark happening when the conversation turns to same-sex attraction. There’s nothing redeeming about that response, and there’s nothing Christ-like on either side of the fence.
What Thomas has done — in addition to putting together some scenarios that made me laugh out loud — is humanize the face of same-sex attraction. He hasn’t said it’s okay; if anything, this book proves the opposite without being nasty about it. He has kept the dignity of the person, painted the delight of the experience of realization, and crafted a story that’s more than enjoyable.
We’re not left with things tied up in a neat little box. Scott and Megan are flawed at the end, though they have an awareness of that at the end they lacked at the beginning. Their flaws don’t just stem from their sexuality, either. Thomas makes that clear, without ever condoning the action.
This book is light years away from the preachy attitude, the “better than you” approach, the “me right, you wrong” heavy-handedness that the Church is so often characterized as taking. There is nothing being shoved down your throat as you read this book. Instead, there is the offer of perspective based in real humanity.
Do yourself a favor and read this book. It’s masterfully and powerfully written. It’s a journey from cover to cover that will leave you smiling and probably also pondering.