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  1. SEEKING SOLACE - Amy Bovaird
  2. Editors Choice
  3. The Solace of Water

Every time the book comes round to Tom, it comes alive. He's not in any way unusual: a hard-working, hardbitten, self-righteous farmer, of limited education and interests, completely unable to understand or get on with his son. But he has kindness, however inefficient, and he has vitality. You feel the life of the man. His kitchen rises up around him with a vividness lacking elsewhere in the book, his cattle are real cattle, even his tractor is a personality. And his attempts to talk with, or at, or to Mark are clearly heard and recorded, lurching between the painful and the ridiculous.

What humour there is in this rather solemn novel is Tom's humour. The finest scene, to me, is one where Tom, floored by the tiny rage of a two-year-old baby, laughs and then finds himself crying — for all the awful grief suffered in the novel, the first and only tears. I have the impression of an austere decorum infusing much modern Irish fiction, a studied levelness of tone.

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Such restraint, if unvaried, leads to a flatness that smoothes even agony into the texture of ordinary, daily life. There is truth in this, to be sure — the truth expressed in the saying "Life goes on". Perhaps that truth is enough to ask of a novel. Certainly it is all the solace offered by the promise of the beautiful title. Ursula Le Guin's Lavinia is published by Phoenix. Topics Fiction. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations.

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Quantum of Solace (James Bond) by Ian Fleming Audiobook

Loading comments… Trouble loading? Most popular. Both Mark and Tom are alive and fairly leap off the page — even though Mark can be a frustratingly passive character, rent with indecision and content to bumble along in his laddish ways.

Editors Choice

Mark is a typical clever plodder, trusting to slow work and fulfillment of basic expectations to take him inoffensively to where he hopes to end up. Tom is wise in practical ways, reflective if not expressive, and can be wryly humorous, but his outlook is curtailed by the limits of his experience. Solace is a book that haunts the reader in its assured power.

It demonstrates the raw emotions and fierce clashes that are played out under the surface when families gather, and captures the way that youth is an essential process of fleeing from then returning to a family with clarity, nuance, and understanding.

I have a feeling that Solace is a book I will delve into again and again over the years.

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  • Solace by Belinda McKeon.
  • The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts?
  • Review: Solace by Belinda McKeon -!

Tags: book awards , Books , Co. Longford , Ireland , Irish Fiction , literature , review. I enjoyed this book I read it a couple of years ago. Rich on August 11, at am. Connect on Facebook Connect on Facebook What are you looking for? All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to feed. Powered by WordPress and Tarski.

The Solace of Water

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