3 out of 5 stars
The Accidental was a random pick from my books I want to read list. I was drawn to the brief description I read and after the first few pages I was sure I’d picked a 5 star book. It is the story of a strange guest that suddenly shows up during a family’s summer holiday in England. It’s told from the points of view of each of the four family members and Smith’s very loose use of punctuation really helped put me into each of the characters unique minds. I’ve never read anything that ignored so many rules for how you are supposed to write. It was refreshing and made so much sense: Our inner thoughts don’t have punctuation or adhere to any written or spoken rules of language. They flow and change direction without warning and Smith captured that sensationally.
However, the unique writing style wasn’t enough to make me love the book overall. I turned each page with eager anticipation of learning the answers to the mysteries and secrets presented, but the answers never came. It left me unsatisfied and confused and felt like there was a hidden point to the book that I missed. Perhaps I was just too taken with the style of the writing that I didn’t pay enough attention to the actual story. Maybe because I was so taken with the style of writing.
Having said that though, I do recommend it. I think the writing was unbelieveable and the story was intriguing. I know others will get the answers I didn’t and I know that if I had felt like I had gotten the point, it would have been a 5 star book for me.