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SOLACE OF THE ROAD by Siobhan Dowd Kirkus Star

SOLACE OF THE ROAD

By Siobhan Dowd

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-84971-8
Publisher: David Fickling/Random

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—a few drinks in a club, a brush with a sexually aggressive young man, a long ride with a vegan truck driver and getting locked in a van on a ferry—help her rediscover lost memories. Holly’s character is fully developed and bright with a quirky humor, and even secondary characters with lightly sketched parts fly off the pages in three dimensions. 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. (Fiction. 12 & up)