22 August 2010

'Solace of the Road' Book Review

From the blurb: Holly is sick of being told what to do. She's ditching her old life and she's heading off. She puts on her blonde wig, blows herself a kiss and flutters her eyelashes. 
And now she's ready. She's Solace. Solace of the road.
Siobhan Dowd is much deeper than I took her for, even after reading 'A Pure Swift Cry.' Among the things I loved about this were the name Solace, how a fourteen year old could hitch-hike without the author condescending, and how everything about it, from the children's home to the city, was so real.
This is as much a masterpiece as 'A Swift Pure Cry,' and I will now pick up 'Bog Child,' and attempt to read it again.
I liked the way Holly slowly recalled her memories as her journey progressed. The way the wig almost became Solace was amazing.
The adults in Siobhan Dowd's work are perfect. Some mistrust children, and some are kind and well-meaning, and each novel is so like life is; unpredictable and predictable, sad and happy, never simple. The characters just keep on living life, and isn't that the easiest way, just keep on living?
I now have huge respect for Siobhan Dowd that was absent before, and I am very sad that she did not complete more novels.

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