"As for Solace, which I worked on for over five years, beginning it in Ireland and taking it with me to New York: it emerged out of a moment, too, out of a glimpse of something probably quite ordinary, but it lodged in my mind and grew into something much larger [...] I saw a young man, wearing a paper party hat, holding a tiny baby in his arms and pressing his lips to its forehead. I think he must have been coatless, and the baby was not in a sling or a wrap or whatever you call those things parents use to lash their children to themselves; there was a sense that they were caught in an unexpected moment, pulled out of somewhere warm and safe, and very much alone with one another. That they only had each other, and that something had happened to make it that way. As you can see, I tend towards melodrama; this was a corker of a reaction to have to what was probably something very innocent and mundane. But I think it must have tapped into the energy of something I’d been getting ready to write, because the next time I sat down to write, to work on a short story, that young man and his baby reappeared with very powerful force. And neither would they let me away with a short story; it became clear, very soon, that they expected me to give them a novel. As did the whole landscape of characters who came with them."
- Belinda McKeon, in interview