Sunday, November 7, 2021

Book Review: A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson published by Knopf

Set in the fictitious northern Ontario town of Solace in September 1972, A Town Called Solace centres on three town residents--seven-year-old Clara Jordan, seventy-two-year-old Elizabeth Orchard, and thirty-four-year-old Liam Kean. With elements of mystery and romance and light touches of humour, the story explores how circumstances marry this cast of diverse characters. 


After fighting with her mother, Clara's sixteen-year-old sister Rose runs away. Clara maintains a silent vigil--willing her sister to return home. Very little drags Clara away from the living room window--just school and caring for the next-door neighbour's cat Moses.


Elizabeth is a retired kindergarten teacher. Three years and eight months ago, Elizabeth's husband Charles died. After his death, Elizabeth moved from Guelph to live with her sister in Solace. Elizabeth's sister has since passed away. Solace is where Elizabeth befriends Clara--thanks to Moses. 

Unfortunately, due to heart problems, Elizabeth has to go to the hospital--leaving Moses behind to be taken care of by Clara.


Liam has recently ended his career in accounting and is newly separated from his wife Fiona. He has moved from Toronto to live in Mrs. Orchard's house. Why? What is he doing in that house? That's what Clara wants to know. 

Buy this Book 

From an Independent Bookstore in


United States

A Town Called Solace

Mary Lawson

Published by Alfred A. Knopf

Published in 2021

288 pages

long-listed for the 2021 Booker

Thrown headlong into the fascinating and familiar town of Solace, I read this book in big gulps. I loved every minute of my stay--up to and including the last page. I especially enjoyed the key role Moses plays in the story.

I'd highly recommend Mary Lawson's other books--Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge--as well. I've yet to read Road Ends. Perhaps, I should be quick to correct this omission--especially in light of how I've enjoyed her other books. There are just so many books and so little time. 

Mary Lawson interviewed by Penguin Random House

The Promise by Damon Galgut won the Booker

How to watch The Scotiabank Giller Prize 

Monday, November 8. Tonight! 

On This Blog in November

photo by ldyck

Thursday, November 11
Remembrance Day
Short Story
Leaving Her
Leanne Dyck

Sunday, November 14
Short Story
Visiting the Neighbours
Leanne Dyck

Wednesday, November 17
Podcast Author Reading

Sunday, November 21
Book Review
Cedar Bowers
long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
and my winner

Wednesday, November 24
Podcast Author Reading

Sunday, November 28
Short Story
by Leanne Dyck

I finally took a nice selfie and I just had to share it with you.

Sharing My Author Journey...

Regardless of what anyone says, no one person, thing, or event is going to
 make or break your author career.
Each author's journey is unique. So each series of people, things, or events that make each author's career will vary.