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Review: Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

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.


I really enjoyed Solace of the road and thought it was really poignant and thought provoking read.

Solace of the road follows the story of Holly a teenage girl who has decided to run away from her foster home and to track down her mother in Ireland. She leaves dressed up as Solace a girl older than herself and uses Solace's confidence to travel her way across the country.

For me this book was all about Holly coming to terms with who she was and the terrible things she had gone through in her past. It was starling to see how naive she was and how she tried to play this much older role but didn't always quite get it right. I really enjoyed following her journey and the experiences she had on the way and what those experiences reveal about her. I must be getting old because all I wanted to do was scoop her up wrap her in a blanket and shield her from the world. I must admit I was expecting such a sad and moving read. Make sure you are prepared with a box of tissues before you start reading.

All in all a brilliant book which I'd certainly recommend.


I've only read one book by Siobhan Dowd so far and I loved it! Really need to get my hands on some of her other books, like this one!
Anna Scott said…
I adored this book, and I'm completely with you on the ending. She was such a brilliant writer and it just made me want to devour all her books (although I've managed one more since I finished this)