The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

‘The Accident Season’ by Moira Fowley-Doyle is my favourite kind of creepy. Here’s why:

on August 5, 2015

I lost sleep for this book, and it was totally worth it ūüôā

the accident seasonThe Accident Season. Moira Fowley-Doyle. Corgi Childrens. July 2015.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember: a month of mysterious injuries and tragedies, which casts a constant shadow over Cara and her family.

This year, the accident season will break more than just bones. Because Cara is starting to ask questions – and all her family’s secrets will rise to the surface.

Intoxicating, devastating, dark and intense – the accident season is here.

I don’t think I can say too much about this story without getting spoilery – the less you know, the more you can enjoy the creeping sense of I-need-all-the-lights-on-because-nothing-around-me-looks-familiar-anymore.

Each October, Cara Morris’s family bubblewrap every sharp edge in their house, and swaddle their bodes in layer upon layer of protective clothing, as they all become prey to something they call ‘The Accident Season’ – a month in every year where at least one family member¬†will get hurt every day. Their accidents can range from the painful but fairly harmless (like bashing into the corner of a table), to the deadly. And strange things are happening this accident season, because the cards have predicted that this will be one of the worst yet. Stranger still, Cara’s childhood friend Elsie has mysteriously disappeared, seemingly leaving so little of an impression on those around her, that nobody but Cara and her friend Bea have noticed that she’s gone…

I’m a huge fan of creepy books full of question marks, and as such I inhale a helluvalot of them. However, straight-up crime/thriller has lost its ability to give me the shivers, because it’s so often predictable. This novel is neither genre, and certainly isn’t predictable. Instead, The Accident Season¬†is my favourite kind of creepy – everything is a little surreal and uncanny,¬†and the sense of strangeness intensifies¬†throughout the story (Why are all these weird things happening, and why isn’t everyone taking them as seriously as the Morris family?).¬†The twists and turns are extremely well hidden and have that rare power to genuinely shock/break your heart into little pieces. The Accident Season is a highly original, damned-mysterious,¬†surreal (contemporary yet sprinkled with magical realism) novel, which reads like a dark fairytale, and managed to creep me into reading late into the night to finish it.

The writing is stunning (I am actually envious).¬†Cara’s narrative voice is concise¬†yet poetic – every sentence is loaded with menace, and feels like black water gradually creeping into your veins. The Irish setting (with all of the local myth and folklore it brings), and the autumnal weather contribute to this. I love writing that can make ordinary¬†things like the way light falls through a window seem sinister, and Moira Fowley-Doyle is fantastic at this, because it’s subtle, and not at all gothically OTT.

I loved all of the characters, in particular Cara and her best friend Bea. Bea is a hugely memorable character – she reads tarot cards, tells a cracking yarn, and is the best kind of friend – she believes in the Morris family’s unlikely predicament whole-heartedly, and throws herself into Cara’s search for Elsie when nobody else seems to care, purely because she can see it matters to Cara, and so believes in its importance. I love stories which portray female friendship in this way – as an important part of your life and a partnership (not a rivalry, as I’ve seen in so many other stories).

Something else I really¬†enjoyed was the family dynamic at the heart of the story. The accident season brings the Morris family closer together because it unites them in a secret and gives them something to nervously laugh about. Yet, at the same time, there is a certain distance between them – they are all keeping secrets from one another, and there is always an edge to camaraderie, because there’s always something¬†lurking beneath the surface.

This was a mesmerising story, and I became so obsessed by it that I finished it in one sitting. If you like dark tales full of secrets, which make you question what is and isn’t real near-constantly, please check this out. You won’t regret it (unless you have somewhere to be really early the next morning after staying up all night reading, of course! :P)


3 responses to “‘The Accident Season’ by Moira Fowley-Doyle is my favourite kind of creepy. Here’s why:

  1. Thanks for a great review, I’m heading to Amazon for this as we speak… ‚ėļÔłŹ

  2. […] The misty, atmospheric sky on the cover of The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle reminds me of fog settling on a chilly morning, and this book is the perfect October read. You can check out my review here. […]

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