A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson
Every once in a while, I find a new author that changes my life. If you love Anne Tyler, and I do, then you’ll love Mary. You’ll want to read everything she has ever read, like am now. A Town Called Solace is wonderful in big and small ways. It’s funny and quirky and quietly wonderful. The setting, the people, the sadness, and the hope. It has a heartbeat. Just read it. Now.
From the back:
Clara's sister is missing. Angry, rebellious Rose had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Seven-year-old Clara, isolated by her distraught parents' efforts to protect her from the truth, is grief-stricken and bewildered.
Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, moves into the house next door, a house left to him by an old woman he can barely remember, and within hours gets a visit from the police. It seems he's suspected of a crime.
At the end of her life Elizabeth Orchard is thinking about a crime too, one committed thirty years ago that had tragic consequences for two families and in particular for one small child. She desperately wants to make amends before she dies.