Book Review: A TOWN CALLED SOLACE by Mary Lawson

Genre: Historical
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone

Blurb:

Title in white on blue and pink clouds above a

Clara’s rebellious older sister is missing. Grief-stricken and bewildered, she yearns to uncover the truth about what happened.

Liam, newly divorced and newly unemployed, moves into the house next door and within hours gets a visit from the police.

Elizabeth is thinking about a crime committed thirty years ago, one that had tragic consequences for two families. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

If I’m being honest, I did not go into this book expecting to like it. It just does not seem like my kind of book (and actually, there are some structural things that are really not my thing.) However, I did really enjoy it.

I think it was the voices that really did it for me. There are three narrators who come from different generations – there’s an 8 year old girl, a man who’s probably late thirties/early forties, and a woman who’s probably 70-odd. They all sound so different that you can work out who’s narrating each chapter without checking the heading (it’s first person present.) Those really distinct compelling voices were what sucked me into the book and the stories, making me care about them and feel like they were real people.

Structure wise, it took me a while to realise the three POVs aren’t happening concurrently. Clara and Liam’s are more or less in time (except Liam often lags several chapters behind Clara) as theirs are the most interwoven stories (which is what I prefer.) They are interacting, with actions that affect one another

Elizabeth’s is set a good fortnight before (which took a while to work out) and doesn’t really have any impact on the other two. Most of her time is spent reminiscing about the past and so there’s no actions of hers that affect the ongoing stories of the others, just the starts.

The slightly off kilter stories did create a few moments of lag and disconnect trying to work out how they slotted together, but once I’d worked out they weren’t all in time, it was easier to read and I did enjoy it overall. I just wish it had been clearer as that might have made the “oh, it’s not all at the same time” moment less jarring (as the start seems to imply it’s all concurrent.)

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