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Publisher's Summary

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: Rebellious teenager Rose has 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 30-ish 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.

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

What the critics say

"I've been trying to tell everybody I know about...Mary Lawson.... [Each of her novels is] just a marvel." (Anne Tyler)

“An assured and engaging look at one of my favourite subjects: what we owe to other people. How long must we keep their secrets, and how long do we wait for those we love? Darkened by pain, A Town Called Solace is even so a kindly book; Clara’s lost sister flashes through it like a red-winged blackbird. Warm, clear, and beautifully grounded in the bedrock of the Canadian Shield.” (Marina Endicott) 

What listeners say about A Town Called Solace

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What a lovely story

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

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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  • Alea Jensen
  • 2021-04-15

Meh

interesting story but could have been so much shorter. also the volumes/speeds on the various narrators were so different that it woke me up (I fall asleep to a book each night). I did like that each character felt realistic but plot was a tad predictable