Going to Solace offers comfort in comfortless times.
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, real sick, dying sick. Their paths cross as they go to Solace, a local hospice.
August Early has never set foot in a hospital before.
Maggie Dulé packs a bag despite her vow never to return to the Pineys again.
Burnice Kling, R.N., is fixing to “fire” her patient, a “cantankerous old cauliflower of a woman” and mother to an estranged daughter named Maggie.
Meanwhile Cadence Greevey passes among them unnoticed. She’s a “big-little girl” whose thinking hasn’t kept up with her growing. Her mama’s ailing and there’s no one home to help.
Suddenly, they find themselves functioning as caregivers, bedside improvisers, doing all they can to beat back death or “hurry him on about his business.”
Through chapters that interweave points of view—funny-sad and sad-funny—multiple stories become one.
Steeped in the rich flavor of the Appalachians, Going to Solace illuminates the altered states of shock and clarity that visit us as our loved (and hated) ones pass from this world to the next.