I read this for my young adult literature class during the Contemporary/Realistic fiction week.
Holly Hogan is in foster care in London, and she misses her biological mother (whom she refers to as "Mam" fiercely. All she wants is to be reunited with her Mam in Ireland. When she finds a blonde wig in her foster parents' house, she puts it on and transforms herself into a girl named "Solace." Solace is fearless and unstoppable, and she decides to run away to Ireland to find her Mam. She spends the next couple of days hitchhiking and sneaking on a train and a ferry in an attempt to reach Ireland, and along the way, memories slowly appear in her mind, reminding her of why she was placed into foster care in the first place.
I had trouble understanding Holly/Solace's actions at first, but when everything was revealed at the end, I began to understand why she acted as she did. She made some questionable choices throughout the novel, but she had to go through this journey into the past in order to move on and have some hope of a future. One problem I had, though, was how everyone was tricked into thinking she was much older just by her putting the wig on. Wouldn't a 14-year-old still appear to be 14 with a different hair color? (Maybe it's like Hannah Montana's wig...apparently no one recognizes her face when she's transformed from Miley to Hannah!)
Solace of the Road was a quick read for me, and while I did not enjoy it as much as Bog Child, I still enjoyed Siobhan Dowd's writing. She created compelling coming-of-age characters. The literary world will miss this talented writer.