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.
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.
From David Fickling, the author's publisher: '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.'
Siobhan’s previous titles are Bog Child, A Swift Pure Cry and The London Eye Mystery. Sadly, Siobhan died in 2007 but her memory lives on in a Trust that has been set up in her name as well as through her writing.
Every penny of royalties from Siobhan's book sales go to the trust that has been set up in her memory - www.siobhandowdtrust.org
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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Praise for Solace of the Road:
"Solace of the Road has it all, really: grit, pathos, humour, sharp observation, and a central character who catches your heart and doesn't let it go. [A] Heartbreaking road trip novel with an unforgettable central character. Moments of intense pathos combine with humour to create a book of tremendous quality. Highly recommended." thebookbag.co.uk
"An amazing book for those who love a road trip story with gritty drama and great laughs woven in." Stoke on Trent Sentinel Series
"... unexpectedly life affirming, wise and mature." The Times
"... this gritty, realistic novel which deploys Dowd's talent for humour, will appeal to the older teenage reader." Daily Telegraph
"Real, touching, at times gritty, but laced with humour throughout it will delight teenage and adult readers alike." Irish Post
About the Author
Interest Age: From 12 from 12
David Fickling Books an imprint of Random House Children's Books
4th March 2010