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Book Club Podcast: Jo Browning Wroe on A Terrible Kindness

01 September 2022

© Martin Bond

The author, Jo Browning Wroe. Her novel was inspired by her experiences growing up in a crematorium

The author, Jo Browning Wroe. Her novel was inspired by her experiences growing up in a crematorium

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A Terrible Kindness, the debut novel by Jo Browning Wroe, is the choice for this month’s Church Times Book Club — and on the podcast this week, the author speaks to the Revd Malcolm Doney (who has written this month’s Book Club essay about it).

The book is published by Faber & Faber at £14.99 (Church Times Bookshop £13.49).

Jo Browning Wroe has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and is Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.  

A Terrible Kindness, a Sunday Times bestseller, was inspired by conversations that she had with two embalmers who had volunteered to help at the Aberfan disaster when they were young men in 1966, and from her own childhood experience of growing up at a crematorium in Birmingham where her father was a supervisor (fuller synopsis below).

The Book Club podcast is a monthly series launched recently in association with the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature. Jo Browning Wroe will be a speaker at the next festival, in February 2023.

Sign up to receive the free Book Club email once a month. Featuring discussion questions, podcasts and discounts on each book: churchtimes.co.uk/newsletter-signup

Discuss this month’s book at facebook.com/groups/churchtimesbookclub

About A Terrible Kindness: The fictional story of a newly qualified embalmer William Lavery, who, on hearing the news of the Aberfan disaster in 1966, volunteers to help. The experience alters him profoundly, forcing him to revisit the painful losses in his own life — the death of his father, the disappointment of a lost musical career, and an estranged relationship with his mother. The story charts William’s inner turmoil over the ensuing years: covering his attempts to find redemption by mending fractured relationships, reconnecting with music, and reaching out to others. The story ends with his return to the disaster site 17 years later.

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadSoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms. Music for the podcast is by Twisterium


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