A Town Called Solace


Author: Mary Lawson

9781784743932 | PB | pp. 304 | 2021 | Penguin Random House UK

Set in the frozen north of Canada in 1972, A Town Called Solace is about childhood trauma, painful histories that need reckoning with and the moments in life when we can change for the better.

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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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Mary Lawson




Penguin Random House UK





Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:

United Kingdom

About the Author

The author was born in 1946 in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Her first novel, Crow Lake (2002), is a tense and heart-breaking drama of family love and buried resentment set in rural Ontario, carefully crafted and sparkling with humour, which won the 2003 McKitterick Prize. Her second novel, The Other Side of the Bridge (2006), is the compelling and vivid story of two generations of a family who are tragically torn apart by the Second World War, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize that year and selected for the Richard and Judy book club. A more recent novel, Road Ends (2013), tells the enthralling tale of the Cartwright family unravelling in the aftermath of a tragedy, set against the chilling backdrop of a frozen landscape in the first half of the 20th century.


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