ACCIDENTALS

A young Californian accompanies his mother back to her native Uruguay, where he falls in love, discovers a new species of bird—and is forced to confront both the environmental cataclysm of his future, and the dark legacy of his family’s and his nations’ past.
Bremen Book Club 18 Aug 2020
Bremen Book Club 18 Aug 2020

When Gabriel’s mother decides to repatriate to her native Uruguay after thirty years in California, he takes a break from his uninspiring desk job to accompany her. Experiencing the country of his birth as an adult for the first time, Gabe is as intrigued by the unfamiliar birds in the wetlands on his squabbling family’s ranch as he is by crumbling, politics-obsessed Montevideo. But when he gets caught up in the national election, falls in love with Alejandra—a local biologist whose presence stirs up long-buried traumas in his family—and discovers an endangered species of bird on the ranch, Gabe finds himself transformed from complacent observer to main character in his mother’s transnational saga.

Set in Uruguay and California at the turn of the millennium, Accidentals tells a story of loss and discovery that challenges our notions of family and explores the way that science, with all its uncertainties, illuminates the natural world and our future. Not only will readers become more aware of the birds singing outside their windows, but also of how easily a vibrant democracy can slide into brutal dictatorship—and of the long generational shadows cast by both political violence and environmental devastation.