top of page


Home: Welcome
Home: Blog2
  • Writer's picturebookends

Review: A Town Called Solace, by Mary Lawson

This is a book that I don't think I would have ever picked up if it hadn't been on the Booker longlist - but I'm really quite glad I did! I thought this was a lovely, peaceful read that still tackled some tough subjects in a way that felt light-touch and compassionate while still being very compelling.

I will just very quickly raise the only issue I had with the novel: I felt like the pacing of Elizabeth's POV chapters was a bit off, and the emotional climax was a bit crammed into a too-short final chapter when it would have perhaps been a bit more satisfying if the climax hadn't felt so rushed.

Right, anyway, moving swiftly on.

This was a lovely book - the sense of setting and atmosphere was excellently well-done, and the language was very evocative while remaining easy to read. I also found the misaligned timelines from the interweaving chapters very interesting - it took me a while to get used to it, but once I did, I thought it added an extra layer of introspection and nuance to a story that was mainly about how people react to the world in very different ways, and can interpret a situation in entirely conflicting ways based on their interpretations of context and individual backgrounds.

And I just absolutely loved it. It was such a peaceful read, for something that was basically about a missing teenager and a 30-year-old attempted kidnapping. It was such an easy book to sink into, and a story that left me feeling very hopeful even though the ending was by no means neat and never took any easy ways out. I inhaled it in one sitting, because the story was compelling and the writing was lovely.

But, having said all of that - not quite sure why it was longlisted for the Booker. I really liked this book, I really liked the story and the characters and I enjoyed the process of reading it, but it didn't raise any of the questions that the Booker nominees usually do, and the structure was interesting without being original or mind-blowing.

So, there you have it - a book that I absolutely loved, and am very glad it got put on my radar, but I think another book might have been better placed to make that longlist.

Who says I'm not capable of contradictory positive feelings?

Happy reading,

Amélie xx

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


I’m Amélie, I love books and reading, and I also love talking about them.

I’m incredibly lucky to be bilingual, so I read books in both French and English, and will talk about both of those on here – although I will do more in English, since I know that’s probably what the majority of the people who ever find this blog will be interested in!

I also like history, traveling, Shakespeare, coffee, cheese, musicals, Italian Baroque art, the ballet, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, flowers, makeup, high heels, and baking. Yes, I’m a walking cliché. I am aware.

Please do tweet at me with any suggestions/book recommendations/thoughts.

In case you’re curious – yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time.

Home: About
bottom of page