Sometimes, we must accept that we are the source of our own sufferings and we must be prepared to take responsibility to address them. That is one of many messages Jo Browning Wroe manages to expertly weave into her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness.
The book follows the life of William, a newly qualified embalmer, who volunteers to join an expedition to Aberfan to tend to the victims of its famed tragedy. This choice, however, forces William to face his own personal tragedies, including his estrangement from his loving mother and old school friend, and his inability to accept his own personal failings.
Jo Browning Wroe addresses a number of subjects in A Terrible Kindness, such as death, friendship, the normalisation of homosexuality, personal choices, selfishness and selflessness. All of this is done both with skilful writing and well-designed flow by Wroe, with descriptions and dialogue that grounds the story and makes the characters both interesting and relatable – and not in the way you might expect.
An impactful and honest read, A Terrible Kindness is an excellent debut and should be recommended to anyone interested in dramatic fiction or character-focused growth.
A Terrible Kindness, Jo Browning Wroe (Faber)
Price: £14.99. Info: here
words GWIL WILLIAMS
Advertise with us.
We have a range of options across print and digital.