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A Town Called Solace: LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021 Paperback – 18 February 2021
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'I've been trying to tell everybody I know about Mary Lawson... [Each of her novels is] just a marvel' ANNE TYLER
Clara's sister is missing. Angry, rebellious Rose, had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Eight-year-old Clara, isolated by her distraught parents' efforts to protect her from the truth, is grief-stricken and bewildered.
Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, moves into the house next door, a house left to him by an old woman he can barely remember and within hours gets a visit from the police. It seems he's suspected of a crime.
At the end of her life Elizabeth Orchard is thinking about a crime too, one committed thirty years ago that had tragic consequences for two families and in particular for one small child. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies.
Set in Northern Ontario in 1972, A Town Called Solace explores the relationships of these three people brought together by fate and the mistakes of the past. By turns gripping and darkly funny, it uncovers the layers of grief and remorse and love that connect us, but shows that sometimes a new life is possible.
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She has the God-given ability to convey the complexities of human nature in everyday language... Like a magician, Lawson hides her technique, and makes it all seem as natural as breathing -- Craig Brown ― Mail on Sunday
A contemplative story about loss and regret, a slow burn of a read with a fire at its heart -- John Boyne ― Irish Times
Lawson's writing is such that it appears effortless but, as all the strands come together to create a rich and satisfying tapestry, her genius for storytelling becomes apparent ― Irish Independent
The doubts, difficulties and uncertainties of the human condition are carefully examined in a way that is both heartbreaking and joyful ― Scotsman
About the Author
Mary Lawson's first novel, Crow Lake, was loved by critics and readers all over the world; it was translated into 25 languages and published in 28 countries. It was a New York Times bestseller, won the McKitterick Prize and spent 75 weeks on the bestseller lists in her native Canada. Her second novel, The Other Side of the Bridge, was longlisted for the Booker Prize and selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Road Ends, published in 2014, was described by the New York Times as 'tender and surprising . . . a vivid and evocative tale'. A Town Called Solace, published to critical acclaim in February 2021, was an instant bestseller in her native Canada. Mary came to England in the 1960s, and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames.
- Publisher : Chatto & Windus (18 February 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784743933
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784743932
- Item Weight : 310 g
- Dimensions : 13.6 x 2.3 x 21 cm
- Country of Origin : United Kingdom
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top review from India
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By Singh, R. on 2 July 2021
Top reviews from other countries
The action is set in the aptly entitled northern Ontario village of Solace in 1972. At its heart are three characters who between them carry the narrative and whose lives are increasingly interwoven: Liam Kane, whose recent divorce has brought to a close a relationship fraught with difficulties, from which he is still not free, the precociously wise and perceptive 8-year-old Clara, whose 16-year-old older sister has run away from home, and Elizabeth Orchard, in hospital and close to the end of her life. To reveal more would be to trespass on what Mary Lawson has to share with us.
Without a trace of affectation or sentimentality, the author writes beautifully, evoking a range of emotions from grief and sadness to hope and contentment. We move seamlessly from the near-tragic and painful to exuberant humour, all the more effective for its understatement. There is nothing flashy or melodramatic here, nor anything forced.
There are very few contemporary writers in English who can approach anything like the natural ease, subtlety and intelligence that marks this novel. An unmitigated delight.