Mary Lawson

A Town Called Solace
  • A Town Called Solace

  • Set in the frozen north of Canada in 1972, this is a beautiful Booker Prize longlisted novel about painful histories that need reckoning with and the moments in life when we can change for the better.

    'I've been telling everyone I know about Mary Lawson . . . Each of her novels is just a marvel' ANNE TYLER


    Clara's sister is missing. Angry, rebellious Rose had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Seven-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.

    '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

    'These interwoven stories of three people at different stages of life...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's first novel, Crow Lake, was loved by critics and readers all over the world; it was translated into 25 languages and published in 28 countries. It was a New York Times bestseller, won the McKitterick Prize and spent 75 weeks on the bestseller lists in her native Canada. Her second novel, The Other Side of the Bridge, was longlisted for the Booker Prize and selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Road Ends, published in 2014, was described by the New York Times as 'tender and surprising . . . a vivid and evocative tale'. A Town Called Solace, published to critical acclaim in February 2021, was an instant bestseller in her native Canada. Mary came to England in the 1960s, and lives in Kingston-upon-Thames. www.marylawson.ca

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