William Lavery's life has headed down a different track from what is expected. A talented singer, it is presumed that this is where his future lies. However, at the tender age of nineteen, he instead qualifies as an embalmer. In what becomes a defining moment in his life, he volunteers to attend a colliery collapse in a Welsh village where there are multiple fatalities. Affected by his experience, William is forced to face up to previous trauma and reclaim his life.
Based around the 1966 Aberfan disaster in Wales, this is a moving but ultimately hopeful story of love, grief and forgiveness.
We all enjoyed the story, although a couple of members struggled with the graphic nature at times. Beautifully written.
This is a beautifully written book with the themes of love, friendship and trauma running throughout. We enjoyed that it is based on a real-life event and although quite dark at times, there are many light moments to lift the spirits.
A lesson in why not to "pull down the blinds" and cherish your good fortune and talents. We discussed the importance of allowing children to grieve/face life. We appreciated William's sensitivity and kindness but could have shaken him for his poor reactions/choices/non assertion. We loved the very forgiving/loving uncle and partner, Gloria and Martin. That music brought William and others back to life, its consolation and absolution, was gratifying...
Totally loved this book. Great discussion - many themes.
Enjoyable read - best book of the year so far!
A fabulously written book. Sensitive and beautiful. Subject matter not often written about, and also covered the topic of homosexuality in less enlightened times.