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Best selling author backs whole town book club

PUBLISHED: 13:18 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 25 April 2019

Kett's Books have donated six new copies to encourage people to take part in their One Community; One Book, project. Photo: Submitted

Kett's Books have donated six new copies to encourage people to take part in their One Community; One Book, project. Photo: Submitted

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A best selling author is lending her support to a whole town book club aimed at breaking the ice between neighbours.

We Must Be Brave, by Frances Liardet. Photo: SubmittedWe Must Be Brave, by Frances Liardet. Photo: Submitted

The project, devised by community bookshop Ketts Books in Wymondham, is encouraging the town to read the same novel and connect through the shared experience.

Bookshop manager, Tracy Kenny, said the scheme had been launched as a living memorial to one of the shop's original volunteers, Geoff Kirk, who died last summer.

“Geoff was with the shop since it launched in 2013 and found great companionship and company in the bookshop. We devised this project as a way to bring people together and enjoy the same sense of community as he found with us.”

The chosen book, We Must Be Brave, is by Frances Liardet. Liardet's first novel, The Game, was chosen as one of the winners of Betty Trask Award in 1994.

Ketts Books in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria PertusaKetts Books in Wymondham. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Ms Liardet will be supporting the project at four special events over the next five months, including an author supper at the Wymondham Community Kitchen on September 17.

As well as stocking multiple copies in the bookshop, the Kett's team purchased six new copies for Wymondham library and donated copies to the food bank at Wymondham Baptist Church.

Ms Kenny said: “We want the project to be accessible to everyone. Lot of projects give people a place to go but not something to talk about. Books are a great icebreaker even when you disagree about them.”

Volunteers will be visiting local care homes to play audio recordings of the novel alongside tea and biscuits and the Wymondham Community Kitchen is holding book clubs on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

Volunteers at Kett's Books in Wymondham, from left, Adele Kenny (9), Chloe Dawson, Emily Spencer, and Ian Maunders. Picture: Courtesy of Kett's BooksVolunteers at Kett's Books in Wymondham, from left, Adele Kenny (9), Chloe Dawson, Emily Spencer, and Ian Maunders. Picture: Courtesy of Kett's Books

Mrs Kenny said she hoped that existing groups would take part and encouraged people to get together to form new ones.

The project has already attracted support, with South Norfolk Council agreeing to fund the groups marketing materials and Waitrose selecting it as a candidate for its Community Matters scheme.

The Kett's manager said: “We have already had tremendous support from those around us. Pulling together is exactly what our shop is about and the book is perfect for this.”

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