“The Accident Season” by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Speak, 320 pages, $10.99, Aug. 2016, Goodreads
Moira Fowley-Doyle’s debut novel is hauntingly gorgeous and devastatingly raw. Cara lives in a house with her mom, her biological sister Alice and her step-brother Sam, all of whom are victims of the accident season. During the whole week October Cara and her family are at the mercy of falls, bruises, broken bones and some years even death.
When a classmate of Cara’s goes missing towards the end of the accident season, she and her siblings along with her witchy best friend Bea take it upon themselves to find her, but doing so will mean uncovering some secrets about themselves, their family’s past and they current affections.
This would be a perfect read for Halloween as the subject matter is a mix of reality and magic. Fowley-Doyle expertly combines the fantastical with the mundane in this book to create an interested mystery that will lead you to ask questions, but sometimes they’re not always the right ones. I just found the whole way that this novel encompassed this fantasy world and figures along side subject topics that are deeply emotional and painful to be the story’s main draw for readers.
Unfortunately, I feel as if the main character of Cara could have been characterized a little better. There are a couple chapters included in the rising action of the novel where Cara is drunk at a party that her and her siblings and best friend have put on, and because of that whole section I found her to be unreliable in the way that alcohol makes people unreliable in real life. I wanted more about her and it’s a shame that we get a good idea of who her siblings are and who her best friend is, but we don’t get an idea about her.
The pacing of the book is great. I didn’t feel it lag or speed up too rapidly to get to a certain point. It had a floating sense to it just like the questions that Cara asks about her classmate and her family float in the air around her. She can see them, but they allude her to no end.
I was very enchanted with this novel, but the characterization of the main character left little to be desired. This lack of characterization, however; doesn’t make the novel a total loss. In fact, I still say read it. It’s totally worth it.
Moira Fowley-Doyle can be reached on Twitter at @moirawithatrema, on Instagram at @moirawithatrema and on Goodreads.