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Going to Solace

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Going to Solace
Debut Novel by Amanda McTigue

We're in Big Piney and Little Piney, two hollows just outside the town of Garnet in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It's 1989. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. A handful of mismatched folks--some country people, some far-flung, fancy people--discover they have one thing in common: someone they know is sick, rea
Paperback, 292 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Harper Davis (first published July 14th 2012)
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Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of a series of families overlapping through hospice. The characters are well-developed; they grow over the course of the novel. Well imagined world and construct world of Blue Ridge Mountain communities.

Amanda is a friend. But don't let that fool you. Very good novel.
Dorothy Rice
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This unique narrative drew me into small town life in Appalachia's Blue Ridge Mountains, a world that, while like none I have known, evoked universal experiences and emotions. Through an eclectic set of characters and shifting points of view, the reader comes to care about these folk as they are confronted with some of life's hardest and most defining moments. A complex set of inter-weaving stories told with skill and heart.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vivid writing

It is popular today to have several narratives going on at once, a practice I am too dull to appreciate. Different characters in alternate chapters takes me longer to connect with them.
The author does a magnificent job of putting you in the scene. Sometimes her writing got in the way of the story. Something would be like . . then I'd try to imagine an unusual description and then contemplate the connection to what it was like. The author's lively language use did a much better job
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the interest of full disclosure: I won this book in a drawing during a recent LitQuake event.

I wasn't sure it would be my "thing," to be perfectly honest: the story of three different small-town North Carolina families, each with a member preparing to enter hospice, and the people who work at Solace (said hospice).

Well, I don't think I've ever been happier to be wrong. Amanda McTigue draws on her childhood home in the Appalachians to create a group of characters who were so real that I could
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the beginning of the book is a list of characters, organized by family or title. I was so grateful for this, and referred to it often in the early stages of the story to be kept up to date with who was related to who. It allowed me to not be distracted by wanting to keep characters straight, allowing me to dive head first into each family's story.

The way the story is told, each chapter is from the point of view of a different character. The chapters are short, and at the end of the chapter I
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
All the characters in Going to Solace have one thing in common: they are dying, they are taking care of the dying, or they have someone close to them who is dying. As sad as this may sound, it is a beautifully written book with unforgettable characters who share a sense of community in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Garnet. There are moments of humor in the book that really had me laughing. Solace is the name of the local hospice.

The story takes place in 1989, the week preceding Thanksgiving. T
Arletta Dawdy
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing

GOING TO SOLACE is Amanda McTigues’ first novel but it is not her first exploration of character. Her prior work as choral and operatic lyricist and stage director has obviously served her well when it came time to write this exquisite opus. Characters abound with reflections and expressions of lives “making the change” and of those left to continue on for yet a while.
McTigue shows a masterful use of the language, customs and pace of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She went into her own past a
Pattie Tierce
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everyone is brought home in Amanda McTigue's novel Going to Solace. It is the story of a community coming to terms with the dying and death of loved ones, and the dignity they grant not just their dying but one another, even themselves, along the way. The story is told in the simple dialogue of mountain folk, and Ms. McTigue's lovely language, sometimes stark, often gentle, always colorfully drawn. Her images create characters we have known or would like to know.  Those left behind discover the ...more
Book Him Danno
This is the story of a town with a hospice and you get to follow a few of the residence that go there to die, also the hospice does out-patient care. The book follows several residence and their lives. I enjoyed the fact that the chapters were titled with which characters were talked about in that chapter.

The writing is good, yet the book moves slowly. I found myself putting it down way more then I like. I found the slow moving to be a pain and yet the story was interesting so I’m not sure what
Judy Baker
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Going to Solace is populated by friends and families who are connected by time, a special place, life and death. I devoured each tasty page, sometimes through my tears. I was transported to the Blue Ridge Mountains and into the homes of the characters. Their individual voices range true and clear. Amanda intertwined the stories of each family and their caregivers with a graceful hand. The transformations and transitions were seamless. The conversations reminded me of ones I had with my family wh ...more
Heather Langley
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I loved this book for its characters, who were believable and recognizable, well developed and three-dimensional. I found myself "understanding" and empathizing with their various quirks, thoughts and expressions. I especially connected with a few characters who seemed like they could have actually been real people.

I also immensely enjoyed the sing-songy Appalachian dialect that appeared throughout, too, as it made a more complete, almost musical reading experience. Though written about a seriou
Shelley Blanton-stroud
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amanda McTigue’s Going to Solace is a meaningful novel, shining a light on a very uncomfortable topic, what happens at the end of life, between us and the people we love. But more than that—it takes into its scope both the non-family people who are paid to care for us, and the non-family people who aren’t paid but do it anyway. This is smart, touching, relevant and even funny. The writer has a strong and particular voice, coming right out of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a great book club choic ...more
Helen Sedwick
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
With richly drawn characters, vivid descriptions, compassion and humor, McTugue follows a handful of people as their lives circle around hospice, or rather the pending passing of a loved one. At such times, people find ways of connecting, resolving old conflicts, and finding meaning in life. While there are sad moments, the book is about love, resilience and that human spirit that finds joy and purpose, even when times are difficult. There are many passages which had me laughing out loud. I want ...more
Marlene Cullen
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amanda deftly portrays the lives of three families, their caretakers their hospice workers and their experiences with Solace, a hospice community. She handles the subject of end-of-life with sensitivity and tender care. So well- written. 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 be.
Kathie Miller
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story with all the great characters. I could 'hear' the Blue Ridge Mountain people in the dialog. I was drawn in to the lives portrayed and the struggle each experienced. It resonates with my own experiences with end of life and death. A wonderful read.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very sweet book about life, love, and death in Appalachia. Solace is a home where people go to die, like a hospice, but this book is not a downer. The characters are all well defined and easy to like, even though none of them are perfect. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a thoughtfully written book that touches on the subject of hospice and the families who are touched by that life experience.
Mary Wallace
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this is a first novel! Set in the Appalachians, its got the right voice and the deepest heart.
Jean Ryan
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A comforting read. Evocative setting and memorable characters. Nothing seemed forced or improbable, and the humor is well done. You might look on your loved ones more softly after reading this.
Tessa Bryce
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Amanda McTigue does an amazing job of weaving together the stories of all the families who are involved. I couldn't put it down!
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nuanced. Affecting. Big-hearted.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Nathaniel Winters
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Going to solace was well written with interesting characters. The book was quite enjoyable. The subject matter was not a easy topic and Amanda did a good job unfolding the story.
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Amanda's debut novel, "Going to Solace," was named a Best Read of 2012 by public radio KRCB's hour-long literary show "Word by Word" hosted by Gil Mansergh. She is currently working on a collection of short stories, working title "This is Not Water; Tales from the Intersection of Love and Catastrophe," and a second novel, "Monkey Bottom."
“Bernice had told her once that you could feel some patient through the walls like heat through an oven door, that the ones with troubled spirits radiated that trouble out into the nearby air.” 0 likes
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