The Accident Season
by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
published on Published August 18th 2015 by Kathy Dawson Books
young adult | magical realism | romance
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Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.
But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.
Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.
This is one of those “it’s me, not you” books. It’s easy to see why this is such a highly praised book: it is atmospheric and exquisitely written. The problem is, it just wasn’t for me.
Accidents happen. Our bones shatter, our skin splits, our hearts break. We burn, we drown, we stay alive.
Every October, 17-year-old Cara’s family becomes extremely accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover the corners of tables and desks, and hide electrical items. Yet, no matter how hard they try, despite all the precautions they take, accidents still manage to find them. But why? And how can they stop it?
We’re afraid of the accident season. We’re afraid of how easily accidents turn into tragedies. We have had too many of those already.
Cara is a protagonist that, while she might not be especially memorable or special, has an air of authenticity to her. She feels like a real 16-year old girl, and it’s so easy to relate to her because of that.
The relationship between Cara, her sister Alice and stepbrother Sam is what makes this such a unique novel. The dynamics between them seems more like a relationship between three friends than a relationship between siblings, and it’s almost easy to forget they’re related. (I say almost because, like all siblings, they constantly tease and annoy one another.)
What made the book difficult to connect with, for me personally, was the magical realism scattered throughout the pages. Magical realism is all good and well, but it’s just not for me. As someone who is completely left-brained and powered by logic and facts, it’s a struggle for me to take in and believe these fantasy situations – especially when they’re disguised in a contemporary setting – and this was no exception. (Fantasy in a contemporary setting just does not mix in my mind).
All in all, I am sure this is going to be a huge hit with anyone who loves magical realism, an eerie yet magical atmosphere, and gorgeous writing.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.
Zoe is a critical reviewer. When she’s not reviewing, you can find her performing in plays / musicals, doing gymnastics, or designing websites.