Thank you to TLC Book tours and William Morrow books for providing me a free copy of The Accidentals and for this spot on the blog tour! All opinions are my own.
In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life–seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.
When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.
As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.
The Accidentals is the first book by Minrose Gwin that I have ever read and I was very impressed with her beautiful writing. She has an eloquent and flowing story telling style that I was able to get lost in. Full of southern life and sisterly bonds, this was a very enjoyable read. There is a lot going on is this book, touching on a lot of controversial issues, which adds some heft to what might otherwise be a light read. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to historical fictions fans or those who love family and sibling stories.