Happy Monday! … Is there such a thing? Anyway, I am delighted to talk about Day of the Accident today!
I’d like to send my biggest thanks to Penguin and Ellie for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! I apologize for the delay.
Title: Day of the Accident
Author: Nuala Ellwood
Date of publication: Paperback 22.2.2019
Number of pages: 388
Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart
The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.
When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.
What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?
A title is just as important as a cover and the content of a novel. When I heard about Day of the Accident, my eyes shone. Those four days had aroused my curiosity and my thirst for answers would not be quenched before I knew what it was all about.
Imagine waking up in a hospital, surrounded by faces you don’t recognise. One of my nightmares! The first-person narrative and sharp writing made me feel exactly like Maggie, the main character. I was confused, I was worried. My anxiety about all things medical flared up and I was very nervous from the opening on. In fact, I was unnerved throughout the book, for many reasons, but one thing at a time!
Let’s go back to Maggie, in a sterile room, and a few sentences that make her world explode. Her daughter passed away. Her husband is missing. She doesn’t remember anything. The brain is a complex thing and amnesia is one of its ways to protect us from traumatic events. But it creates a hole in Maggie’s life, a giant hole nothing will ever fill again.
They say it was an accident. But ‘accident’ can mean nothing and everything. I was puzzled by the husband’s absence since his daughter’s funeral, I couldn’t process Maggie’s child’s death, even though I had not been given a taste of their life together. This is how acute and stunning the author’s skills are.
Then slowly, life takes its rights back. A new life for Maggie, the shell of the woman she used to be. A new place, new people to help her, and the painful beating of her heart reminder her of her loss every second of every minute. Day of the Accident is never maudlin, always heart-wrenching. Waves of grief give way to other feelings, and Maggie can’t satisfy herself with the mere answers she’s received about the day that changed her life. She wants more. She needs to find out how things turned out this way to even begin to think of moving on.
But is moving on even on the table?
Puzzled, alone, and still recovering from the accident, Maggie knows something is wrong. I think I always knew her instinct would kick in as soon as the shock would start letting up. A painful chase begins. No, two chases. One for a husband who left as a thief, one for the truth regarding her daughter. Step by step, through the fog of memories and her past, Maggie walks down memory lanes and hunts ghosts. A name leading to another, unexpected help from a doctor… As much in the dark as Maggie, I let the narrative lead me to the end, the shocking, unforgiving, brilliant ending I couldn’t have guessed! If I’d sometimes wonder how reliable Maggie was, I knew in my heart that I could be on her side. That didn’t mean she would get a happy ending or be as white as a dove. But that’s what makes Day of the Accident so real, so awfully good – normal people make mistakes, normal people misunderstand, normal people take bad decisions… There is so much happening that it would take forever to tell you, and I would hate myself for stealing the twists away from you.
Question everything, feel everything. Enjoy this novel. I could go on and on, but I urge you to dive into this Day of the Accident, and immerse yourself in a compulsive and poignant read.
Get your copy of this must-read here!