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A Town Called Solace (Hardback)Mary Lawson (author)
The acclaimed Canadian author of Crow Lake intertwines the lives of three characters brought together by loss in a quietly moving novel – touched with flashes of humour – about the tenderness and tragedy of everyday lives in a small backwater town.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021.
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.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 412 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 29 mm
'I've been telling everyone I know about Mary Lawson... Each of her novels is just a marvel.' - Anne Tyler
'Poised, elegant prose, paired with quiet drama that will break your heart. The sort of book that seems as if it has always existed because of its timeless perfection.' - Graham Norton
'Beautifully written and so finely crafted; told in the kind of prose I most admire because it takes what appears to be complicated and makes it clear... These interwoven stories of three people at different stages of life, and yet each struggling with their own form of loss and grief, will stay with me the way good friendships stay with you. It's already one of my favourite books of the year.' - Rachel Joyce
'Mary Lawson writes with a pure simplicity... she has the God-given ability to convey the complexities of human nature in everyday language... It was only on a second reading that I came to realise quite how intricately plotted A Town Called Solace is: like a magician, Lawson hides her technique, and makes it all seem as natural as breathing... she possesses an instinctive feel for when to withhold information, and when to release it.' - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
'Lawson's books are a pleasure to read - they conjure a space where quiet reflection and owning your past mistakes bring gentle rewards; they feel kind and wise and brimful of empathy.' - Siobhan Murphy, The Times
'This is Mary Lawson's fourth novel and I'd recommend a binge immersion... Lawson has carved out a world in Northern Ontario that's vividly, absorbingly real; she captures tones and voices with exactitude in writing that's idiomatic but never flashy and carries you along from midnight to dawn, oblivious of the time.' - Nooni Minogue, Literary Review
'Anne Tyler is a big fan of this Canadian author and so am I.' - Good Housekeeping
'A lovely, gentle novel with edge, worthy of Anne Tyler.' - Saga
'There's a beauty and simplicity in her [Lawson's] stories set in small-town Canada.' - Nina Pottell, Prima
'[An] absorbing novel.' - Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express
'Completely absorbing... A Town Called Solace pleases at every level. It's a captivating tale suffused with wisdom and compassion.' - Brett Josef Grubisic, Toronto Star
'[In A Town Called Solace] doubts, difficulties and uncertainties of the human condition are examined carefully in a way that is both heartbreaking and joyful.' - Bridie Pritchard, UK Press Syndication
'Subtle and darkly funny, this tender novel unspools the interconnected lives of her beautifully drawn characters, as they grapple with grief and loss, while steadfastly hoping for a change of happiness in the face of life's uncertainties.' - Eithne Farry, UK Press Syndication
'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
'[Lawson] writes an unpretentious prose that zings with metaphorical vim and humour.' - Tablet, Summer Reads of 2021
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“Brilliant, not to be missed”
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“A lovely warm hug of a book.”
Those who have compared this novel by Mary Lawson to those of Ann Patchett and Anne Tyler do her a disservice, as hers is a very individual voice, and one one which can speak convincingly through the eyes of a child,... More
“gently beautiful, I loved it”
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