Solace of the Road Book Review

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
Release Date: 13th October 2009
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Source: Goodreads
Pages: 272

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

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 blond locks she feels transformed. She’s not Holly anymore, she’s Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the supersharp 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.

My Thoughts

Solace of the Road is a book I’ve wanted to read for years. Just over a half a decade later, and I’ve finally invested in a copy.

This book focuses on Holly, a teenager who is fed up with living in foster homes and longs to be reunited with her mother. After being adopted by a well-off couple (referred to as ‘mogits’ – short for ”miserable old gits’ – by the protagonist), Holly decides she’s had enough and embarks on a road trip to Ireland, in the hope of finding her mum there. With little money, it seems that Holly is not going to make it. However, she meets a bunch of interesting people along the way, who offer to help her. Before leaving, Holly stumbles upon a blond wig in her foster mother’s room. She takes the wig with her on her journey and becomes Solace, a confident and brave alter-ego, who “didn’t care what other people thought.”

Solace of the Road is a compelling read. It takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster, and you really start to feel sorry for Holly. She is separated from her mother at a young age and forced to live in the foster system against her will. Although she does have some good friends, including Trim and Grace from Templeton Care Home, there is nothing Holly wants more than to be back in Ireland, the place where she was born. She has sweet memories of her childhood, but she soon realises that these memories are only good on the surface.

I’d recommend Solace of the Road to anyone who enjoys contemporary realistic fiction, or books about road trips.

10 Comment

  1. I should probably read more; never have time for it these days!

  2. I used to read a lot, but these days I never get the chance to sit down and really get to read a book. This sounds like the type of book I would read and enjoy and it has got me interested. I will have to add to my list of books I want to read and then hopefully one day get a chance to get back into reading x

  3. I love reading and am usually found curled up with a book x

  4. I need to find the town to read more. As a mum of two I daren't at the moment because once I start I can't stop! Like you I have things on my list from years ago that I MUST read x

  5. I really like the sound of this book although it's very different from what I usually read. I'll have a look to see if I can get it for my kindle.

  6. Sounds great! I'm so glad you finally got around to reading it!

  7. Oh this book sounds so good – I cannot remember the last book I read – I just don't have the time. Kaz x

  8. Sounds like a great read, I love reading just never have the time anymore 🙁

  9. This book sounds very intriguing. Why are the memories only good on the surface?

  10. I love road trips! This might be a good book for me. 🙂 May depend on how heavy it gets. Looking at it on goodreads now. 🙂 XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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