This is Jo Browning Wroe’s debut novel and it feels like the work of an established, well known Author. It’s refined, beautiful, heart-breaking and so very important – all at the same time. It also spans genres – with elements of Contemporary Coming of Age fiction, Historical Fiction and more.

“Time to clamp his defences back down before the flotsam and jetsam of his own life is washed up by the tidal wave of Aberfan’s grief;”

This book is a work of art really, there were so many lines and paragraphs that I read twice because they were incredibly poignant. The book is based on a conversation that the Author had with two embalmers who volunteered at the Aberfan disaster in 1966. Jo has taken their stories and experiences and created a humble book of inspiring characters and impossible dilemmas. She has also encompassed her own experience of growing up in a Crematorium where her Father was a supervisor. So this book is not only emotionally important, it’s factual based on real life experiences.

There’s historical tragedy, personal trauma, music, love, life, growing pains and so much more within the pages of this book that, to be honest, was far too short! I wanted to carry on reading Jo’s writing forever. Just beautiful and huge thanks to the person who suggested it to me.

About the Book…

When we go through something impossible, someone, or something, will help us, if we let them…

It is October 1966 and William Lavery is having the night of his life at his first black-tie do. But, as the evening unfolds, news hits of a landslide at a coal mine. It has buried a school: Aberfan.

William decides he must act, so he stands and volunteers to attend. It will be his first job as an embalmer, and it will be one he never forgets.

His work that night will force him to think about the little boy he was, and the losses he has worked so hard to forget. But compassion can have surprising consequences, because – as William discovers – giving so much to others can sometimes help us heal ourselves.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Coming of Age
Publication: 18th January 2022

About the Author…

Jo Browning Wroe grew up in a crematorium in Birmingham. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is now Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness, was shortlisted for the Bridport Peggy Chapman-Andrews award. She has two adult daughters and lives with her husband in Cambridge.

Connect with the Author…

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