A Terrible Kindness: Debut novel skilfully conveys despair and hope in communal and personal tragedies

Jo Browning Wroe’s novel, A Terrible Kindness, is set around the 1996 Aberfan tragedy where 116 children and 28 adults were killed by the collapse of a colliery spoil tip

Jo Browning Wroe: in her debut novel she writes in a prose that is both incredibly simple and blindingly beautiful


A Terrible Kindness

By Jo Browning Wroe

Faber, €18.20

On October 21, 1966, a 34-metre colliery spoil tip collapsed on a mountain slope above the Welsh mining town of Aberfan. Some 110,000 square metres of coal slurry tore down the hillside, engulfing Pantglas National School and a nearby row of houses. The disaster left 116 children dead, along with 28 adults. A call went out for embalmers to help clean up the bodies and ...