The Alchemy of Kindliness: A Testament


A tale of two women, trauma and finding the truth behind tragedy

As tragedy strikes in Sarah’s life she is pushed to explore her options: linger in sadness and become bitter, or work through the pain. Day by day she discovers a fascinating connection between her life and the fateful life of the previous tenant of Bron Felen, the small farm on Anglesey where Sarah lives with her partner.
What does it take to survive the loss of a child before breaking point?

In this wonderful book Carol Horne cleverly explores the consequences behind trauma and xenophobia, and lays bare what happens when fear drives a small village community to turn against outsiders.

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After Sarah Blake moves into Bron Felen, a run-down old cottage on Anglesey, the suicide of her daughter Fleur sparks an obsessive curiosity about the life and death of the previous inhabitant, Annie Williams. Disturbing parallels emerge through Dilwyn, garrulous local and erstwhile admirer of Annie, prompting Sarah to question how someone survives tragedy. And is there a choice?

Additional information

Dimensions 152.4 × 228.6 mm

Carol Horne





About the author

Carol grew up on the banks of the Thames.

In 1973 she and her first husband, a musician, moved to a small-holding in Wales, where they had 4 children, and lived the ‘good’ life, keeping pigs, chickens, a house cow, and growing their own fruit and vegetables. She learned to play the clarinet, and sang and played in various jazz combos for the next 20 years in Wales and the Borders.

On their divorce she moved to Snowdonia and eventually Anglesey with now husband, Nigel, a marine engineer. They are both keen walkers and have completed the Tour de Mont Blanc twice. Carol has also walked the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt and hiked Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg, cycled over the Pyrenees, through the Rif mountains of Northern Morocco, and the West Coast of Ireland.

At the age of 60 she learned to SCUBA dive and is a survey diver for Seasearch UK. Although warm tropical seas are very inviting, she insists the coast round the British Isles has some of the most interesting diving in the world – despite the visibility often being no more than 6 inches.

She has been a prolific writer of poetry and short stories all her life. The Alchemy of Kindliness is her first full-length novel and most of the background material for the book derived from her experience of village life in rural Berkshire and North Wales.


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