READ FOR BOOKCLUB
Chosen by Suzy
A 2005 novel which relays the consequences for a middle-class family when an uninvited visitor appears in their home while on holiday.
⚈ “Amber—thirtysomething and barefoot—shows up at the door of the Norfolk cottage that the Smart family is renting for the summer. She talks her way in. She tells nothing but lies. She stays for dinner.
“Eve Smart, the author of a best-selling series of biographical reconstructions, thinks Amber is a student with whom her husband, Michael, is having an affair. Michael, an English professor, knows only that her car broke down. Daughter Astrid, age twelve, thinks she’s her mother’s friend. Son Magnus, age seventeen, thinks she’s an angel.
“Each family member assesses her differently but ultimately all accept her a fixture. What she does is allow them to examine their own lives as they reflect off the stranger.”
Oh. To be filled with goodness then shattered by goodness, so beautifully mosaically fragmented by such shocking goodness.
⚈ “I was really looking forward to reading this book for bookclub as I’d read such amazing reviews. I didn’t follow it easily and this has been a repeating theme with most other Ali Smith books I’ve since read (Hotel World being the exception). Unfortunately this is a reflection of my intellect rather than anything to do with the author! ” – Suzy
⚈ “The Accidental is unlike any book I have read before. In it a stranger, a young woman, plants herself in the middle of a family in their holiday home where her existence reveals more about the unwilling host family than herself. At first I quite enjoyed discovering the novel’s unusual flow but sometimes it was almost too clever, making following the storyline difficult. Fantastically developed characters and a satisfying conclusion, though.” – Rachel