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Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
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Solace of the Road

by Siobhan Dowd

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2971453,952 (3.53)25
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
A story for young adults who, even though they are not in a similar position, will understand and sympathize with Holly, a fifteen-year-old orphan in care. Holly reinvented herself with the aid of a blonde wig as a runaway named Solace. She hit the road with few resources in an attempt to rejoin her mother in Ireland. Holly/Solace was a brave soul who had a tough life through no fault of her own. With limited knowledge of the world she often made the wrong choices but the reader will support her all the way. Dowd's story is empathetic and engaging. ( )
  VivienneR | Apr 22, 2018 |
Solace of the Road is beautifully written by Siobhan Dowd and tells the story of teen Holly who hates her foster family, hates her school, and generally her whole life. But when she finds a blonde wig she is able to transform into a different character, the fearless Solace. She decides to leave, take to the road, get herself to Ireland and find her mother and although Holly/Solace calls the A40 the road to freedom, the reader is in constant fear for this young girl.

Life on the road is hard but Holly is lucky enough to find a few good people who help her along her way, but still she has hours of time alone with nothing but her thoughts and eventually, the real memories of what life was like with her dysfunctional mother emerges and Holly realizes that she has nothing or no one to run to.

I found Holly’s story touching even as it was told with both humor and grit. Her stress and loneliness at dealing with a new foster family and then with the dangers of being alone on the road felt very real. Solace of the Road is a simple story elevated by the author’s empathetic storytelling. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Jan 7, 2017 |
3.5 stars ( )
  ACascadeofBooks | Oct 5, 2016 |
I liked this book, but agree with one reviewer that it was hard to like the character of Holly. She was very selfish. It ended a bit differently than I expected, I kept thinking she'd find her mom but that she wouldn't want anything to do with her or they'd even start another life together. Liked all the different slang that UK kids use compared to Americans. Sad to hear this author died so soon, she was very good and will be visiting more of her work! ( )
  briannad84 | Dec 13, 2013 |
I was really looking forward to this book. I really liked the premise and I thought it would be something I could enjoy. I wasn't that impressed with it, though. I just couldn't bring myself to like Holly which made it hard to like the book in general. She really didn't come across as a nice person and I found it hard to sympathize with her. I could understand somewhat her reasons for the thoughts she had but it didn't make me find her interesting. Some parts of the book did make me a laugh a bit but overall it was pretty underwhelming. It was easy to read though and did keep me interested enough to read on to the end so it wasn't all bad. ( )
  nicola26 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2009 (Vol. 77, No. 17))
Holly, a 15-year-old ward of the state, is placed with foster parents who, though they try very hard, can't break through the barrier she has constructed around herself, mostly to forget her early life with her uninterested mother. After she discovers a blond wig that seems to add years to her age, Holly hits the road, bravely reinventing herself as Solace, a young woman with an attitude. Her destination, across England and Wales, is Ireland, where her mother must surely be. Experiences along the way help her rediscover lost memories. Holly's character is fully developed and bright with a quirky humor. Holly's insights and observations are completely plausible, as is her voyage of discovery, described in lovely, pitch-perfect language. A last gift from Dowd.
added by kthomp25 | editKirkus
 
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Epigraph
If I was where I would be,
Then I would be where I am not.
Here I am where I must be,
Where I would be, I cannot.


from 'Katie Cruel', a traditional song
Dedication
For Anna
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I breezed down the line of cars, so cool you'd never have known I was looking for a way to board the boat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Memories of Mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blonde locks she feels transformed. She's not Holly any more, she's Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the super-sharp talk. She's older, more confident - the kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head on.

So begins a bittersweet, and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self, and unlocking the secrets of her past.

SOLACE OF THE ROAD is a wonderful novel from one of the UK's most talented new writers for teenagers. Holly's story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her. (Random House website)
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While running away from a London foster home just before her fifteenth birthday, Holly has ample time to consider her years of residential care and her early life with her Irish mother, whom she is now trying to reach.

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