Listen free for 30 days

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $42.11

Buy Now for $42.11

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller
Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by
The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Daily Telegraph

"I've been telling everyone I know about Mary Lawso.... Each of her novels is just a marvel" (Anne Tyler)

New York Times best-selling 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. Sixteen-year-old Rose is missing. Angry and rebellious, she had a row with her mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Left behind is seven-year-old Clara, Rose’s adoring little sister. Isolated by her parents’ efforts to protect her from the truth, Clara is bewildered and distraught. Her sole comfort is Moses, the cat next door, whom she is looking after for his elderly owner, Mrs. Orchard, who went into hospital weeks ago and has still not returned. 

Enter Liam Kane, mid-thirties, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, who moves into Mrs. Orchard’s house - where, in Clara’s view, he emphatically does not belong. Within a matter of hours he receives a visit from the police. It seems he is suspected of a crime.

At the end of her life, Elizabeth Orchard is also thinking about a crime, one committed thirty years previously that had tragic consequences for two families, and in particular for one small child. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies. 

Told through three distinct, compelling points of view, the novel cuts back and forth among these unforgettable characters to uncover the layers of grief, remorse, and love that connect them. A Town Called Solace is a masterful, suspenseful, darkly funny and deeply humane novel by one of our great storytellers.

©2021 Mary Lawson (P)2021 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

National best seller

Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize

A Globe and Mail Best Book

A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year

“This deftly-structured novel draws together the stories of three people at three different stages in life, each of whom is grappling with loss. We were captivated by A Town Called Solace’s beautifully paced, compassionate, sometimes wry examination of small-town lives.” (2021 Booker Prize Judges) 

"Completely absorbing...A Town Called Solace pleases at every level. It's a captivating tale suffused with wisdom and compassion." (Toronto Star)

“A lovely, gentle novel with edge.” (Saga (UK))  

What listeners say about A Town Called Solace

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a lovely story

This is the best book I have read in a long time. It made me appreciate family.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I only wish it was longer!

I could have continued to listen to this wonderful story for many more hours. another excellent book by Mary Lawson!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a warm hug

One of my favourite authors and this novel does not disappoint. Love Lawson's characters, and her writing style. This was the first Lawson novel that I listened to. Bravo to the narrators - you were all wonderful. I often felt as if I was watching a wonderful play

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Finding Home

Wonderful narration of a very entertaining story of love, loneliness, an act of passion and finding home.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

This is a beautifully written story from three perspectives, and skillfully read. I highly recommend it!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I was disappointed in the story

I felt this book should be listed as a young readers book. It is a nice touching story but lacks any intrigue or suspense.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Cozy Mystery

I like listening to multiple perspectives, even though two of the narrators stories are so close together the story kind of repeats itself a bit. I was engrossed so much to know what happened to these people and how they got to this point.

I love that it takes place in Northern Ontario, even though it takes place in the 40s, it's still so soothing to hear about places I know and terms only Canadians know about.

All three narrators were terrific. Only gripe about this book is the simplicity of the abrupt ending.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara S
  • 2021-07-06

beautiful story

I listened to the audio of “A Town Called Solace” by Mary Lawson. This is a slow burn of a story, culminating into a satisfying suspenseful drama. The narrators, Maggie Huculak, Tajja Isen, and Ian Lake are fantastic.

The story is told from three-character points of view. Clara, 7 years old, is a dutiful cat sitter who begins the story staring out her front window, watching her neighbor, Mrs. Orchard’s, home. Clara’s teenage sister Rose has just ran away, and Clara feels that she needs to keep her vigilance of the neighbor’s home to assure Rose’s safe return.

Mrs. Orchard, aka Elizabeth, is in the hospital with a heart condition. Her narrations are thoughts to her deceased husband. Through Elizabeth, we learn why she left her home to Liam, the third character. We also learn of Elizabeth’s past and what she feels she needed to atone for.

Liam is a character who the reader can’t help but feel sympathetic towards. His life, especially his youthful homelife is tragic. He most certainly received the worst mother possible. He isn’t sure why Mrs. Orchard left him her home, but we find out through Elizabeth’s chapters.

Clara is the needed innocent in the story, providing some humor through her earnest antics. She takes watching Mrs. Orchard’s home very seriously. Other minor characters add to the amusement, although quiet amusement. Lawson deftly adds those moments to what could have been a fully maudlin and tragic story. My heart broke many times for both Liam and Elizabeth. Clara provided hope.

The characters in this story are realistic and human. At the beginning of the story, I thought it was an average read. In the middle, I was dumbstruck in my emotional attachment. At the end, I wanted to take another look and review how the story began and edged its way into my heart.

Author Mary Lawson is noted for writing emotionally moving stories taking place in her beloved Canada. This is one that will stick with me. Another shout-out to Goodreads friend Holly who gave this a stellar review which drew my interest.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynda
  • 2021-07-18

Great story!



Great story. Strong character. Perfect audio. Recommend this book and crow lake. good narrative structure

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea Stewart
  • 2022-02-21

Andrea S.

Fairly short book. Performance was great. You could really picture the story because of the different narrators. The ending of the book felt a little abrupt but an interesting story despite that.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emmy J
  • 2022-04-02

Moving and Satisfying

Mary Lawson quietly draws you into the lives and connections of seven-year-old Clara, her elderly neighbor Mrs. Orchard, and thirty-something Liam, a newcomer to Solace, their small town in northern Ontario. As with all of her novels, you feel a sense of not just the people but the place and, like Liam, may have trouble leaving.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cecile Baril
  • 2022-04-02

Young person’s book?

I seem to have mistaken this for an adult novel but it is quite juvenile. I will have to look more carefully at the clues in the future.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Art Fisher
  • 2022-08-09

A good story

A well written story with believable point of view of a child. Unfortunately the narrator uses such an extremely annoying cartoonish child’s voice for the character of Clara that it was hard to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • loves2read
  • 2022-08-02

Sweet simple story

Although the times were simpler this story of family and relationships rings true. In the end it is just about the healing power of love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna65
  • 2022-07-21

Lovely!

This is one of my favorite audio books! Not too long which I like. The three layered stories suck you in. Don't be discouraged by the slow pace at the beginning. It all.works.and the performance s are top notch. Found myself staying in the parking lot at work to finish a chapter. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lesley Gooch-Christman
  • 2022-06-25

Nice audible choice

It seems the author does not like fat people, slipping in insults that didn’t move the story along

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2022-06-18

A fabulous story that kept my attention constantly

I felt I really had a relationship with these characters. The book is all about the characters as the story isn't all that deep but just a slice of life kind of book...very well written.