Book Reviews

Going to Solace – an engaging story of the human spirit

McTigue.Going to SolaceToday’s featured book is Going to Solace by Amanda McTigue.

Reviewed by Gil Mansergh.

“I read over a hundred books annually for my NPR affiliated radio show, and I selected Amanda McTigue’s Going to Solace as the best novel I have read this year [2012].

In the rural Carolinas of 1989, things move at a different pace and folks either know each other—or know of each other. In just five days (including Thanksgiving) first-time novelist Amanda McTigue lets us get to know and care about the people who work, visit and reside in a Blue Ridge Mountain hospice home known simply as Solace. The residents are mostly old and worn out, the visitors are on edge from the uncertain finality of what will come soon, and the dedicated caregivers may have seen it all before, but are still deeply involved. I know you will get involved as well.”

Gil Mansergh is the host/producer of the KRCB-FM radio show Word By Word: Conversations With Writers. He writes two syndicated movie columns and is the author of 65 nonfiction books. His first novel, The Marvelous Journals of Miss Virginia Pettingill has been highly acclaimed. His prize-winning play, Felix the Cat and the Real Estate Guy, dramatized a chapter in his  novel-in-progress, Hollywood Beau. 

Reviewed by Mona Mechling:

Who can help but love a book that has a character like Burnice Kling, a home health care giver in a town set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. What she has to do to get through to her cantankerous patient. Well it involves pearls, diamonds, a crown of cloth and don’t forget the Dolly Parton cassette tape. Oh yeah, she’s driving off phantoms! Get the book Going to Solace and allow yourself to be led to the town of Garnet on a Thanksgiving weekend. Many book clubs haven’t regretted it and you won’t either.

Mona Mechling considers herself a dark Erma Bombeck. As a preteen, she began writing poems and short stories that went into a drawer. Her first published writing, Danny Story’s, appeared in Vintage Voices: A Toast To Life, (2007) the year she turned fifty; providing an extra reason to celebrate life, family and friends, her inspirations.

Reviewed by Marlene Cullen on The Write Spot Blog (3/2/14):

In Going to Solace, Amanda McTigue deftly portrays the lives of three families, their caretakers, their hospice workers and their experiences with Solace, a hospice community. Amanda handles the subject of end-of-life with sensitivity and tender care.  Amanda writes about the Blue Ridge Mountains with such loving detail, I felt like I was there. Amanda’s characters are honest, lively and intriguing. Going to Solace is a lesson in the human spirit, filled with emotional twangs, and a satisfying place to visit.

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