The Accident Season – a mind-twisting mystery, with magical realism, elements of a ghost story, and echoes of Celtic mythology
Cara and her unconventional family have always experienced what they call “the accident season” in which every October they all have unexplainable accidents, some as worse as death and others very minor. When she was younger, it was something she accepted, but now as she’s gotten older, she’s beginning to notice that it’s odd and that’s not the only weird thing that’s happening. There’s a girl, Elsie, who runs a secrets booth at school, but who’s been missing, and Cara notices her image in every photograph Cara is in. When Cara tries to find Elsie, along with best friend Bea, sister Alice, and ex-stepbrother Sam, no one ever seems to have heard of her. Cara’s search for Elsie, and the reasons behind the accident season, changes her perspective and allows her to discover haunting secrets about her family’s past.
First published in Great Britain, this novel takes place in Ireland and, as goes with the territory, blends ancient mysticism into modern reality. The cast of characters are likeable yet unfathomable and the mystery will have you guessing, akin in tone to other reads such as We Were Liars, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Bone Gap, and many of Maggie Stiefvater’s titles, though not as star quality. Though some of the plot twists are predictable, the ethereal setting and the coming of age experienced by Cara, Sam, Bea, and Alice is genuine and captivating. Themes of romance, friendship, and dealing with abuse and trauma round out the story.
Note: Drugs, alcohol, sexual circumstances, and strong language. Older teen readers may find this more to their taste, as it has a more classic literary (or abstract) feel.