Moving, entertaining, and witty, A Thousand Consolations is a literary romantic comedy for fans of David Nicholls’s Us and Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers.
Paula doesn’t put much faith in the candles she designs for her customers, which promise to cure everything from unrequited love to ingrown toenails; it’s just a business she started after her husband’s untimely death put an end to their joint dream of a career on the stage. Believing she may have somehow contributed to Teddy’s illness, Paula is too crippled by guilt to pursue the dream of acting on her own, and too bitter to believe she’ll ever be happy again.
Then she meets Héctor, a former concert pianist seeking refuge from the Mexican narcos who severed his fingers and threatened worse. With great charm and wit, Héctor seduces her into believing in a life in which hope coexists with disappointment, happiness with loss. Paula begins to believe that love is a possibility after all. But will Héctor be allowed to remain in Canada, or be sent back to an unknown fate?
A Thousand Consolations is a surprisingly funny novel in which virtuosity, philosophy, and humour endure despite the modern blights of refugee politics and the threat of narcoterrorism.
Julie Roorda is the author of three volumes of poetry, a collection of stories, and a novel for young adults. Her fiction has appeared in periodicals across Canada including The Fiddlehead and The New Quarterly. Her story, “How to Tell if Your Frog is Dead,” was included in the 2014 Journey Prize Anthology. She lives in Toronto.
In flowing, natural prose, Julie Roorda tells two intertwined love stories that illuminate the complexities of the human heart in a world touched by illness and cruelty. Often funny, always honest, A Thousand Consolations is a wonderful novel
— Ann Eriksson, author of The Performance
Reminiscent of Meg Wolitzer, Julie Roorda’s A Thousand Consolations is full of wit, insight, and stellar writing.
— Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away with Me
"Roorda . . . has a knack for witty dialogue and an eye for the sharp, smart details of friend and family dynamics . . . . The day-to-day moments of connection are where this novel really shines."
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