Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season,

To the river beneath us where we sink our souls,

To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling,

One more drink for the watery road.

– Moïra Fowley-Doyle, The Accident Season


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. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

9780552571302 The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle


As readers, we love to debate what the main driver of a story is– characters or plot. I am a greedy reader – I want both. There is the odd book I have read where the writing and storyline are weak but the characters are so addictive it keeps you reading. It doesn’t happen often though! The cherry on top of both these things is tone – when a writer can set the mood and maintain it throughout the book is one of the most enjoyable parts of reading for me. The first book to do that for me this year was Joan London in her award winning The Golden Age (review here There was a sweet melancholy that lingered across the story and what impressed me about The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle is the same attention to tone and the feeling that stayed with me long after the story wrapped up.

Every October, the accident season hangs over seventeen year old Cara and her family. As the month progresses, each family member becomes more and more accident prone, their bodies covered in scrapes, scratches, bruises and bumps. Obsession and fear is their constant companion as the injuries continue to get worse. What is the accident season and where did it come from?

Those who enjoyed We Were Liars by E. Lockhart last year will undoubtedly enjoy The Accident Season. Cara, Alice, Sam and Bea are an eclectic group bound together by love and friendship and of course, the accident season. Cara and Alice are sisters, Sam is the ex-step brother and Bea plays the role of Cara’s best friend. I was sucked into the story on the first page and it was the tone that did it. Beneath the tone was an intense story of secrets and lies, mystery and violence. There are many layers to this story that are dark and intoxicating; I found myself searching between the lines for the answer but it was always just out of reach. Fowley-Doyle has mastered the art of ‘the reveal’ – she takes her time and gives you just enough to keep you hooked. Horror and superstition play a big part in the telling of this story with Bea’s tarot cards featuring many times as well as the ghosts of their past coming back to haunt them. I have so many words I want to use to describe this book so I decided to throw them all in…

…compelling MESMERISING magical unsettling TENDER romantic HAUNTING intense confusing DARK atmospheric intriguing DREAMLIKE chilling EVOCATIVE lyrical beautiful…

Yes, I think that paints the right picture… The Accident Season is an exciting debut YA novel that I really, really enjoyed!


AUTHOR: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

ISBN: 9780552571302

PUBLISHER: Random House Australia

RRP: $19.99

PUB DATE: 01 July 2015


Thank you to Random House Australia for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!


4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

  1. I’ve heard mention of this on twitter but this is the first review I’ve read of it (and a lovely one it was too!) Glad you enjoyed it, I’ll definitely pick it up soon! x


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