Posted 20 hours ago

A Terrible Kindness: The Bestselling Richard and Judy Book Club Pick

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A Terrible Kindness had caught my eye before that, reminding me of the episode of The Crown (on Netflix) that describes the terrible events surrounding the Aberfan disaster. because while I didn’t love it, I would recommend it as an original character-led story that explores a side of disasters that we don’t hear much about.

My favourite character was Martin, I loved his resilience and joy of life, his understanding and forgiveness; he was lovely. Though neither I nor my parents were around for it, the Aberfan disaster has gone down in British history as an horrific tragedy quite unlike any other. It's the Midlands Chapter of the Institute of Embalmers Ladies' Night Dinner Dance, and William is taking Gloria in her sequined evening gown. It all culminates in what I found to be a very anticlimactic-- and predictable, for that matter --scene. Overall, I’m glad I read A Terrible Kindness and hope Jo Browning Wroe has another book in the pipeline.Since his father died two years ago, William has had to tighten up his insides and work hard to cheer his mother up” but at Cambridge, he made a real friend: “he is relieved that it seems all he needs to do to be liked by Martin is to be himself.

I like that a light has been shone on the work of the volunteer embalmers, something I would never have known about if it wasn't for this book. A Terrible Kindness has polarised reviewers, particularly the way the Aberfan disaster is employed as a device to change a character, suggesting this is a little insensitive. It is a book about a decent, kind young man’s inability to deal with his own emotions and about both the difficulty and the possibilities of healing in friendship, love and music. I think anyone above a certain ages in the UK will be familiar with Aberfan, as it was a disaster that was and still remains seared on the national conscience due to both the huge loss of life – including 116 young children and 28 adults – and the aftermath – in particular the refusal of the National Coal Board to accept their clear corporate culpability.I enjoyed the parts of this book that are set in Cambridge as much as I enjoyed the parts based around the mining disaster in Aberfan.

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