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.
Mary Lawson was born and brought up in a small farming community in Ontario. She is the author of three previous nationally and internationally bestselling novels, Crow Lake, The Other Side of the Bridge, and Road Ends. Crow Lake was a New York Times bestseller and was chosen as a Book of the Year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. The Other Side of the Bridge was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Lawson lives in England but returns to Canada frequently.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR A TOWN CALLED SOLACE
"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
PRAISE FOR ROAD ENDS
“The frozen landscape, which might fill some with dread, opens a rich world for Lawson…. It is a beautiful novel, with the psychological twists and turns of each character gently and poignantly unfurled.” —The Globe and Mail
“Every Canadian student should be reading Mary Lawson novels—starting with Crow Lake and now including her newest accomplishment, Road Ends…. Like all great writers—and Lawson is among the finest—she tells her story in a deceptively simple and straightforward way, but one that resonates with anyone who has ever struggled with doing the right thing by a family member despite a desperate longing to escape that burden. She humanizes even the least sympathetic of her charges.” —Toronto Star
“Mary Lawson finds literary gold in the hard landscape of the Canadian Shield.” —Ottawa Citizen
“What sets Lawson apart is storytelling so matter-of-fact (in the best possible way) that readers are able to feel the emotional intensity of the characters’ situations without succumbing to moroseness…. The same easy grace and economy of language that drew readers into [Lawson’s] earlier stories are employed to full effect, and the setting, along with the welcome reappearance of a few familiar characters, imparts a sense of homecoming…. Complex and satisfying.” —Quill & Quire
“If the part of Ontario west of Toronto is Munro country, then the area northwest of New Liskeard and Cobalt—where [Mary Lawson’s] fictional towns of Struan and Crow Lake are roughly located—may well end up being dubbed Lawson Country.” —National Post