This is the story of an abusive relationship, an accident and a mental breakdown. The action takes place in 1990-1992 and the present day. The tension winds up in both strands so you don’t want to put down the book. I found myself picking up my Kindle every spare five minutes, just to read a few more pages. The Accident by CL Taylor has a sense of expectant horror: ‘surely that’s not going to happen’, ‘surely she’s not going to do this, or that’.
Charlotte, the fifteen year old daughter of Sue and Brian Jackson, is in a coma. Apparently she stepped off the pavement in front of a bus. As Sue and Brian sit by their daughter’s hospital bed, they disagree about what happened. Brian thinks it’s an accident, Sue worries Charlotte had some sort of problem she couldn’t discuss with her parents. And so begins the re-telling of Sue’s dark past, about the demons she struggles with, and the determination she has to fight the past interfering with her present life. The unravelling of the truth puts pressure on the Jacksons’ marriage and Sue’s sanity. The two parents deal with the tragedy in their own way and Sue, emotionally vulnerable, starts to imagine all sorts of scenarios.
From the first page, the pace is fast. “Coma. There’s something innocuous about the word, soothing almost in the way it conjures up the image of a dreamless sleep. Only Charlotte doesn’t look as though she’s sleeping to me.” It is every parent’s nightmare: an accident, a coma. But Sue must unravel the mystery without any help from Charlotte.
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‘The Accident’ by CL Taylor [UK: Avon] Buy now
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