Book Review: The Accident Season – Moïra Fowley-Doyle

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‘It’s the accident season,

the same time every year.

Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.’

The Accident Season has been hailed by many, as an incredible book, my local Waterstone’s had a particular fondness for it, so I thought I might as well pick it up. The novel focuses on the ‘Accident Season’ a time of cuts, bruises and at times even deaths. Moïra Fowley-Doyle takes suspicion and fear and sets it right in the middle of modern day Ireland. Our protagonist, 17 year old Cara, is an ok narrator, at times I got frustrated with her simplicity and would much rather have followed her older sister Alice, who seems a lot more interesting to me. Added to this is Cara’s ‘ex stepbrother’ Sam and her best friend the witchy Bea’ The Accident Season is a tale of secrets and makes you, at times, question what is real.

I think my biggest gripe with this is that for about ¾ of the novel it moves very slowly. There are twists in the book but the problem is that some of the biggest ones I managed to work out fairly early on, which was a shame. It sits in this strange thriller, horror world but at the same time tries to follow the normal lives of four teenagers. I really struggled to believe in the season itself and all the terrible things that are meant to have happened. To me it just seemed like they all had a bit of a terrified mother (which later makes much more sense than for most of the book) who wanted to wrap her kids up in cotton wool.

As well as the kids dealing with their mother’s fears, there is also a mystery to be solved, in the form of Cara’s classmate, Elsie. While looking through photos Cara soon realises that Elsie is in each and every one of her photos, even though it’s impossible. While Cara enlists the help of Bea and Sam to work out if Elsie is following her they make a starting discovery, Elsie has disappeared and no one seems to know who she is. I can say with absolute certainty that the Elsie part of the plot is definitely the most interesting and I wish there had been even more of it in the book. At times it feels a little like there are other issues that are just there to pad out the novel rather than to add to it.

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There is a big element of fantasy and folk tales throughout, which is something I really liked. I wish it had been bought into the plot earlier as the first few chapters just seem a bit strange without it, you don’t really understand why a sane person could come up with the idea of an ‘accident season’. There are a lot of accidents, but I think I sided more with Alice’s rational thinking too much to really enjoy the novel. It is not in any way that this novel is badly written, Fowley-Doyle does have a knack for story telling, but I couldn’t help but feel throughout that this would be better suited to a film script. I’m saying it now before it happens, this would make a kick ass film and I expect it to be picked up sooner rather than later.

I’m giving The Accident Season three stars ***, like I said before it wasn’t badly written, I just lost the excitement at quite a few points throughout. I need a book that is impossible to put down and for most of The Accident Season, it was easy to walk away from. That said I think if you are into a bit of mystery and horror this is worth a read.

Review by Chloe Metzger

A bit of a tumble

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The plan for yesterday was meeting Daniela for a Starbucks in the morning, go for a ride with Laura, come home and relax while playing with the hamsters…things ended up a little differently than I’d planned.

I loved getting back to riding and finally getting on Rose. She’s only 5 and still quite a baby but she seemed to listen and be an absolute angel. Walking and trotting I was more than happy and so was she, that was until I started to lose my balance. I managed to pull myself up the first time and try and get her to calm down but she could sense I was panicked so continued to run and I had no option than to let myself fall.

The only way I can explain the fall to someone who’s never fallen off a horse before is that it’s slow motion until you’re heading for the floor and it’s like you’re watching a go pro camera. It did hurt, I won’t lie. It’s more likely than not that because I went into shock my body seized up once I’d hit the ground  and I’m pretty sure I winded myself too. After a bit of wriggling around on the floor and being in a lot of pain, I got myself up. I was in a lot of pain but didn’t want to seem like a drama queen so I managed to get up and walk to a chair while everyone at the yard was being so lovely.

Plus points were I’d stayed conscious, I could walk and move my neck. It was only because I was in a lot of pain we called 111 who sent a paramedic..then an ambulance where I got immobilized and loaded up into an ambulance….I was so embarrassed it was unreal. Laura was an absolute angel, holding my hand and not judging when I cried because they were talking about needles and thought I was going to be sick after laying down in the ambulance and feeling panicked by the bead blocks (super uncomfortable, especially when your hairband is digging in).

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Laughing with embarrassment while I was being loaded in, I tried to bargain with them but they said they needed to strap me up! 

I’ve gone 6 months without a fall, so of course my first one had to be done with style. After X Rays and some strong pain medication they decided I was fine just bruised and sore. They’d taken us all the way to Epsom and St Helens University hospital, luckily Laura’s house mate agreed to pick us up to get us back to pick up our stuff. Then something amazing happened, while Laura was gathering the stuff from the stable I went to the field to try and find Rose (who came to check I was ok after I fell off, being the beauty that she is), typically she was nowhere to be found. Instead two other horses came to the gate and it was like they knew, they knew I was shaken but their love and affection cheered me up so much that if I hadn’t been all achy and bruised I would have gotten on there and then.

I’m in a fair bit of pain today but I’m being well looked after and I’m on the mend, plus I have really adorable company 🙂

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Phone Woes

I’ve been quite quiet on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I wish it was for some glamorous reason like I’ve been playing loads of shows or been doing something equally interesting but it’s not, I managed to drop my phone down the toilet…yes I know you’re laughing. Luckily I have insurance, student insurance, and my phone will be repaired or replaced in the next week or so. I have to say Endsleigh have been fantastic, my claim was dealt with within 2 hours of putting the claim in and then 2 hours after that I was on the phone to the engineer for it to be picked up tomorrow. Super speedy service and definitely worth the money! I’m not sponsored I promise….although if Endsleigh do want a student blogger… 😉

Nothing else that interesting happened today, well apart from a really good band practice and lots of sunshiiiiiine! I’m off home tomorrow so all blogs WILL be uploaded!

Taa for now!