Friday, April 23, 2021

Review: A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

New York Times bestselling author Mary Lawson, acclaimed for digging into the wilderness of the human heart, is back after almost a decade with a fresh and timely novel that is different in subject but just as emotional and atmospheric as her beloved earlier work.

A Town Called Solace--the brilliant and emotionally radiant new novel from Mary Lawson, her first in nearly a decade--opens on a family in crisis: rebellious teenager Rose been missing for weeks with no word, and Rose's younger sister, the feisty and fierce Clara, keeps a daily vigil at the living-room window, hoping for her sibling's return.

Enter thirtyish Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, where he promptly moves into the house next door--watched suspiciously by astonished and dismayed Clara, whose elderly friend, Mrs. Orchard, owns that home. Around the time of Rose's disappearance, Mrs. Orchard was sent for a short stay in hospital, and Clara promised to keep an eye on the house and its remaining occupant, Mrs. Orchard's cat, Moses. As the novel unfolds, so does the mystery of what has transpired between Mrs Orchard and the newly arrived stranger.

Told through three distinct, compelling points of view--Clara's, Mrs. Orchard's, and Liam Kane's--the novel cuts back and forth among these unforgettable characters to uncover the layers of grief, remorse, and love that connect families, both the ones we're born into and the ones we choose. A Town Called Solace is a masterful, suspenseful and deeply humane novel by one of our great storytellers. 

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 16th 2021
 by Knopf Canada
3.5/5 stars

My March SweedReads Box contained this book.  A new author for me along with another Canadian setting - bonus points!

A short and sweet review.  This book is told with 3 distinct voices which covers many generations.  I enjoyed the small town setting, a place where everyone knows everyone.  I liked getting to know each of the characters., Clara as she comes to terms with her missing sister and never gives up hope. The history of Liam and Mrs. Orchard was vivid and an emotional part of the book, but I still struggled for a takeaway. I wanted to love this book and maybe because my expectations were high this ended up being an ok read for me.    I know I am totally going against the flow with my thoughts, so I take that as a 'its me not the book'.

This book is part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge.

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