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Review of ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon



7.75 out of 10

Solace‘ – average marks 7.75 out of 10, based on four readers from the book club.

Good points:

‘Beautifully written in simple prose, characters very easy to relate to, felt real.’

‘Beautiful sparse prose – McKeon finds ways to articulate things I’ve thought / felt myself, but could never find such an eloquent way to say them.  Loved how it was about our generation and the Dublin I remember moving to when I finished college – made it easy to relate to.  The characters, even the ones with bit parts, are all very believable and well fleshed out.’

‘It was well written and easy to read , excellent vivid engaging contrasts between urban and rural life.’
‘Loved how it was so everyday and easy to identify with the characters.’

 Bad Points:

‘Struggle to come up with any.  I’m not completely finished but I will be very interested to find out how things end up the way the do from the prologue.  I hope it doesn’t just peter out after already finding out the major reason why Mark, his Dad & Aoife end up alone.’
‘I like a bit of suspense and I knew from first few pages the ending so although a nice read it seemed to be of no avail in terms of what happens next.’
‘Kept me awake to finish! ‘
‘Very slow moving.’
Overall ‘Solace’ was well-liked by everyone and there are a few members still reading it or about to read it.

Library copies of Solace have arrived.


Yvonne in the library phoned today to advise she has 3 copies of Solace by Belinda McKeon for us.

Merle has ‘bagsed’ one. They are in the Reservation section under my name. If you have any problems taking them out just bring to desk and say Yvonne sorted them for our book club. Can you just drop me a text/e-mail to let me know if you are going to take a copy so I’ll know how many left etc.


September’s book club meeting


September’s meeting was a roaring success with a grand turnout of eight out of nine of us! Welcome to new member Sarah. We celebrated  the book club’s second birthday with tea, coffee, delicious home made iced banana mini-muffins from Merle, and rather large ‘bite-sized’ brownies. Unfortunately we forgot to take photos. I made everyone fill out questionnaires and have lots of ammunition now for the ‘Who-we-are’ section of the blog. Watch this space.

Sinéad had a total of four books on her shortlist for November’s book choice, and she/we chose ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon which she has been enthusing about for quite a while. Gorey library are looking into sourcing some copies for us so please let me know if you need a copy.

For October’s meeting we will be discussing ‘Boxer Beetle’. As we will be starting to think of what books to buy our little ones for Christmas, we are each going to bring along a few of our children’s favourite books so we can talk about them and recommend to each other. 

October’s meeting is the 4th Tuesday of October, the 23rd, as opposed to the _last_ Tuesday of the month as I know at least two of us who are away the last week of the month. It still leaves 4 weeks to read Boxer Beetle. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

Happy reading!

November’s Book – Solace by Belinda McKeon


Sinéad chose ‘Solace’  by Belinda McKeon for November’s book.




From the back cover:

Mark Casey has left home, the rural Irish community where his family has farmed the same land for generations. He is a doctoral student in Dublin, a vibrant, contemporary city full of possibility. But to his father, Tom, who needs help baling the hay and ploughing the fields, Mark’s pursuit isn’t work at all, and they are set on a collision course, while Mark’s mother negotiates a fragile peace.

To escape the seemingly endless struggle of completing his thesis, Mark finds himself whiling away his time with pubs and parties. His is a life without focus or responsibility, until he meets Joanne Lynch, a trainee solicitor whom he finds irresistible – and who he later discovers happens to be the daughter of a man who once spectacularly wronged Mark’s father, and whose betrayal Tom has remembered every single day for twenty years.

Joanne too has escaped the life circumscribed by her overbearing father, and she is torn between the opportunities to succeed in this new wealthy Dublin and the moral dilemmas it presents. But for a brief time Mark and Joanne are able to share the chaos and rapture of a love affair, an emotional calm, until the lightning strike of tragedy changes everything.

Fresh, sensitive and genuinely brave, Belinda McKeon is a startling new talent in the great Irish mould, and Solace is a work to be admired equally for its spare, intense lyricism as its range, understanding, and deeply compassionate portrayal of life as it is lived now.