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.
From an Independent Bookstore in
A Town Called Solace
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Published in 2021
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.
Monday, November 8. Tonight!