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 of the river?
Where is Maggie's husband?
And why can't she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow...
her daughter is still alive?
Author: Nuala Ellwood
Publisher: Penguin Books Uk
Publication date: 21st February 2019
Having read Nuala's previous novel, My Sister's Bones I was really looking forward to reading, The Day of the accident. I so wasn't disappointed. Wow, this was a gripping page turner of a read and I read it in two sittings. I loved, loved, loved it.
The book starts as Margaret Allen Rose (Maggie) is standing in the courtroom potentially being charged with manslaughter.
From there we flip to Lewes hospital where we are confronted with Maggie waking up after the accident. An accident that has taken the life of her daughter Elspeth and her husband, Sean has disappeared without a trace.
Maggie has nothing left in the world. Not even her home and belongings. The house has been leased to another tenant and her all of her worldly possessions destroyed. Finding herself alone in a temporary bed and breakfast provided to her by social services she somehow has to try to re-build her shattered life whilst trying to discover the truth of the accident.
This book is interlaced with letters from an unknown ten year old girl to a mother who has abandoned her to the care system for reason that she cannot understand. These are totally heartbreaking to read.
A carer called Sophie befriends her and when she meets the new tenant of her one time family home Dr Julia Mathers, she is slowly building up a support network.
Maggie is convinced that Elspeth is not dead, She is a mother. She would know instinctively if she was no longer alive. But, Maggie is struggling to remember the details of the accident. She doesn't even know why she would be at the place at that time of night. Then, snippets of memory start to come back but none of it makes any sense.
I loved the character of Maggie. I was instantly drawn to her, She has led a traumatic life and from a young age she had been a troubled. It's clear that despite her misgivings she has been a mother that cared. A mother that wanted her the best for her beloved daughter and would never knowingly put her daughter at risk.
Nothing is quite as it seems in this book and it is full of twists and turns. One minute I am hoping that Maggie is innocent and the next I am doubting her stability whilst desperately hoping that I am wrong. I could write all day about this book. It is one that has crawled under my skin and I would definitely say this is one of my favourite books of the year so far.