The Accidental by Ali Smith is Hay Festival Book of the Month for February, continuing the Festival's campaign to celebrate and ignite conversation around current and backlist books that have particular contemporary resonance.

A beguiling page-turner, The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer. A stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpected gifts, trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the light.

This is a novel about the ways 'chance encounters' can irrevocably transform our understanding of ourselves. It explores the nature of truth, the role of fate and the power of storytelling.

"Spectacular... Allusive, ambitious and formally acrobatic... Original, restless, formally and morally challenging, [Ali Smith] remains a writer who resists definition" – Times Literary Supplement.

Hay Festival’s Book of the Month is selected by the festival team in Hay-on-Wye, based on public recommendations, and aims to revisit and re-celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that reach through time to touch the present.

Titles are sold in the UK through the festival’s online shop, as well as being available in all good libraries and bookshops, with a digital festival of promotion online, including curated streams on the festival’s Hay Player archive.

Find out more about Hay Festival’s Book of the Month here or explore #HayBookOfTheMonth on social.