A rainy night.
A car crash.
After the accident Sarah moves to a new school. A new place where no one knows what happened to her or her brother—where she doesn’t have to deal with the history that’s pulling the rest of her family apart.
Will is keeping his head down at home, just trying to get by. Then his sister Lauren comes back—as caustic as always but somehow changed. Will doesn’t know what upheaval brought her home. But it’s sparking some serious change in his life too.
Eliat’s got no mother of her own, and she’s way too young to be one. Looking after a two-year-old, trying to finish school—sometimes all that keeps her sane is partying as hard and fast as she can. Now the pressure’s building and Eliat just wants to get away.
Just get into a car and drive.
In this impressive and beautifully written debut, Kate Hendrick sets the butterfly effect in motion. The moving stories of three teenagers going through crucial changes—before, after and around the accident—show how random actions acquire significance. How one pivotal moment could transform your life and you might never know; how what you do matters.
‘For me, it brought back the raw sting of familiarity of reading John Marsden for the first time. Like Marsden, Hendrick’s writing shows that sometimes families can let us down. Her vulnerable characters voice our secrets, remind us we are not alone and offer a light at the end of the tunnel.’
‘I was riveted. The characters show vulnerability and emotions true to their age…The Accident was written extremely well…It is a book which evokes a lot of emotions and curiosity.’
‘A lovely debut.’
‘The story swells with promise and hope, and there were some really touching, serious, heartbreaking moments…The Accident is a thought provoking story of life and how we can choose how we react to events, even if we cannot control what happens to us…The fact that this is a debut novel is all the more impressive to me and I hope it’s not too early for me to start looking forward to Kate’s next book. Rating: 5 stars.’
‘Hendrick’s prose is gorgeous, literary and emotive…Likewise, the dialogue is so authentic I felt like I was eavesdropping rather than reading fiction. The characters are flawed and vulnerable and wonderfully layered. Hendrick knows how to up the stakes, raise the tension and she is not kind to her characters (things are tough, things get tougher). They bleed onto the pages in such an intimate and unpretentious way it was impossible not to ache for them…[The Accident] is effortlessly compelling, quietly, sneakily, powerful…I am still thinking about it.’
‘The writing is powerful and insightful, without being maudlin or cliched…it’s perfect for those looking to sink into something thought-provoking and meaty.’
‘Kate Hendrick’s characters are perfectly flawed, and their vulnerability makes them easy to connect with. She expertly captures the essence of teenage behaviour, delivering the moodiness, sarcasm, helplessness and confusion in such an exquisite way that it transports the reader right into the mind of a teen.’
‘[Kate Hendrick] has done a great job weaving together the strands of this heartfelt story…Verdict: gripping.’
‘[The Accident] emulates some of the grittier work of writers like John Marsden.’
‘This debut novelist has done a great job of weaving together the strands of this heartfelt story.’