A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson


Bookseller Review by Valerie:

‘I think the new Mary Lawson novel might be my favourite read of 2021. The story is set in a small, untroubled town in Northern Ontario in the 1970s and slowly reveals the relationship between two households there. The author writes about human life, love, lovelessness and the dangers and rewards of human connection, but with such understated nuance and intensity that I cried, laughed and was totally gripped by the characters, the story, and what was revealed.’

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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.

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