For as long as she can remember, Cara Morris and her family have lived with the Accident Season. Every year in October, without fail, members of her family have suffered from mysterious injuries (including bruises, bumps, sprains, and broken bones) or worse, and with no explanation of why.
As a result, for an entire month each year, Cara, her mother Melanie, her older sister Alice and her ex-step-brother Sam figuratively wrap themselves up in cotton wool and try to avoid anything that could cause them harm. But, of course, life gets in the way, and the family suffer from a variety of accidents and mishaps.
The Accident Season, however, isn’t the only strange thing happening in Cara’s life. While looking through the photos on her phone, Cara notices that her childhood friend, Elsie, appears to be in every single one of them, even the ones that were taken overseas or while on holiday. In some of the photos, only a leg or arm might be visible, but Cara recognises her regardless, and is confused as to how it could be possible. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Cara enlists the help of Sam and her best friend Bea, and tries to find Elsie to ask her. But Elsie has been away from school, and for some reason, nobody seems to remember her, despite her role as ‘secret keeper’ for a school-wide project. To make the situation even more confusing, Cara and the others stumble on a mysterious clearing that encourages even more questions, and experience ethereal moments in the form of four changeling-type characters, some unique Halloween costumes and a ‘haunted’ abandoned house.
Will Cara work out what causes the Accident Season each year, and be able to put a stop to the curse that plagues her family? Will she find Elsie and uncover the truth behind the photographs? Can she learn the secrets behind the changelings’ appearances? And will she be able to understand the strange feelings that have started to form regarding certain people in her life?
This novel twists and turns through several plotlines, and carries across both realistic and supernaturally-based ideas. Set in modern-day Ireland and featuring likeable characters, the author has woven folklore, mystery and family secrets together to create an unusual and slightly dark narrative. This debut novel is both compelling and quirky, and will suit people who enjoy stories with a touch of eccentricity.