Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
  

Solace of the Road

Written by Siobhan Dowd

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Shortlisted for the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009, for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2009 and for the 20th Bisto Children's Book of the Year Award 2010.

Beautifully written and achingly moving, Solace of the Road is the poignant and desperate story of one girl’s search for her mother. Running away from her foster home, Holly dons the blonde wig she finds and reinvents herself as the older, more glamorous and dangerously bold Solace and sets off to hitchhike to Ireland which, in her memory, is the place she locates her mother. Through her impressions of the present and her memories of the past, ‘Solace’ pieces together the painful fragments of her life. ~ Julia Eccleshare

From Siobhan Dowd: 'The protagonists in my stories aren’t human rights heroes in the conventional sense. They are ordinary people living in England and Ireland who find extraordinary ways to overcome the difficulties in their lives and for me that’s the essence of any good story: it’s where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.'

What the Bisto Judges said: A finely constructed novel, beautifully written by a master storyteller.

Synopsis

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

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. Holly's story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.


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Reviews

'Unexpectedly life affirming, wise and mature' The Times

'A memorably touching story with a suitably emotional ending' Guardian

'For readers more at home with awkward reality than sentimentality, Solace of the Road has a lot to offer. Siobhan Dowd meets every challenge with the authority of a born writer' Independent

'In 2007 Siobhan Dowd was voted one of the twenty-five British writers for the future (only three were children’s writers). Everybody should read her.' David Fickling, publisher

About the Author

Siobhan Dowd

'The protagonists in my stories aren’t human rights heroes in the conventional sense. They are ordinary people living in England and Ireland who find extraordinary ways to overcome the difficulties in their lives and for me that’s the essence of any good story: it’s where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.' – Siobhan Dowd

'In 2007 Siobhan Dowd was voted one of the twenty-five British writers for the future (only three were children’s writers). Everybody should read her.' –David Fickling, the author's publisher

Siobhan Dowd was born in London to Irish parents. She spent much of her youth visiting the family cottage in Aglish, County Waterford, and later the family home in Wicklow Town and went on to study Classics at Oxford.

A Swift Pure Cry, Siobhan's first novel, was published by David Fickling Books, in March 2006. In May 2007 it won many children’s book awards including the prestigious Brandford Boase Award. Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery, was published by David Fickling Books on 7 June 2007. Two further novels were published posthumously in 2008 and 2009, Bog Child, appeared in February 2008, and her fourth novel, Solace of the Road, in February 2009. The former won the prestigious Carnegie Medal.

Tragically, Siobhan died at the age of 47, in August 2007; she had been receiving treatment for advanced breast cancer for three years. Her memory lives on in The Siobhan Dowd Trust, set up to help disadvantaged children in the UK and Ireland discover and experience the joy of reading. Although she was ill, Siobhan personally and energetically supervised its foundation; it was one of the very last things on her mind and clearly, for her, the most pressing cause in our society today.

Siobhan was a writing phenomenon: discovering that she was fatally ill, she put pen to paper and produced four of the most remarkable novels for children you could wish for. Her loss to the world of children’s writing is a tragedy. But it is utterly characteristic that Siobhan should, at the end, put her mind unerringly to the most deserving group of all: the young reader. Siobhan realized that our literary culture - critics, bookshops, agents, publishing, libraries, schools - depends ultimately on the reader. And, of readers, the young reader is the most vulnerable. And amongst young readers, the disadvantaged young reader is the most deprived of all. Siobhan, at the last, and with all her usual clarity, decided to help them. And you can help them too.

The aims of the Trust are simple and direct:

To take stories to our children without stories.

The Siobhan Dowd Trust Books
A Swift Pure Cry
The London Eye Mystery
Bog Child
Solace of the Road

The Trustees

Please log on to www.siobhandowdtrust.com for more details about the Trust, about how to donate and about how to apply for support.


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Book Info

Format

Paperback
272 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Siobhan Dowd
More books by Siobhan Dowd

Author's Website

www.siobhandowdtrust.com/ab...

Publisher

Definitions an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

30th July 2015

ISBN

9781909531147

Categories


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