Hello Book Dragons! Today I would like to share an exclusive extract from The Kindness Project by Sam Binnie. The eBook will be available from 4th of March, and the paperback is coming out in July. The novel just been shortlisted by the Samaritans for one of their book boxes to support mental wellbeing, so do check it out and if it sounds like something you would enjoy, why not to preorder it? 😉 I hope you will enjoy the sneak peak. 🙂
Publisher: Headline Review
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release date: 04 03 2021
Price*: Kindle £5.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £8.99 (GBP)
Pages: ~ 336
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: The locals of the Cornish village of Polperran are grieving the sudden loss of Bea Kimbrel, a cornerstone of their small community.
Now her reclusive, estranged daughter Alice has turned up, keen to tie up Bea’s affairs and move on.
But Alice receives a strange bequest from Bea – a collection of unfinished tasks to help out those in Polperran most in need.
As each little act brings her closer to understanding her mother, it also begins to offer Alice the courage to open her clamped-shut heart. Perhaps Bea’s project will finally unlock the powerful secrets both women have been keeping . . .
THE KINDNESS PROJECT will draw you deep into the lives of two compelling women who should never have missed their chance to say goodbye. It will break your heart – and piece it back together again . . .
Peter reached into the drawer beside him, took out a small bunch of keys and reached across the desk to press them into Alice’s hand. ‘My dear Alice. The keys to your mother’s house. Besides a few odds and ends, the items inside the house, and a little money of which you are also the lone beneficiary – the details are in the file here – it is the sole piece of her estate.’
Alice took the keys and the plain brown folder, comparing the dull gold and shiny silver of the keys, old and new. ‘But I mentioned your mother’s ambition. By the time of Beatrice’s death, she was someone at the heart of our village. She had become something of an “agony aunt”, as we would say in my day, and she had quite a knack for helping people out. Sometimes,’ he coughed politely, ‘even when they didn’t quite know what help they needed.’
Alice stared at him for a moment. ‘Do you mean my mother was a busybody?’
‘Oh no, goodness me, no, not at all. A busybody! No no no, not at all, nothing like that.’ He smoothed his hair down, which had become ruffled in his agitation. ‘No no. People would come to her. People from all over the village, of all ages. As I say, she just . . . had a knack. People liked to talk to her. And whatever their problem, no matter how small or large, she would listen to them. Often that’s all they wanted – much of the human race, my dear, just wants a listening ear occasionally, don’t you find? But sometimes they actually wanted to change something, and your mother had a most remarkable talent for recognising what it is they wanted – or should I say needed – and helping them work out how to achieve it.’
‘So not a busybody, but a fairy godmother,’ Alice said.
Peter chuckled again. ‘I suspect you’re having some fun with me, Alice, but she helped a lot of people. She was incredibly well-loved around Polperran.’ He smiled fondly at her. ‘And however long you’re here, I’m sure you will be too.’ ‘Oh no, thank you, er – Peter, I’m just here to sort out anything that needs . . . tying up. And then I have to get back.’ She smiled back at him tightly, feeling a wave coming, her pulse rising, hoping this would soon be over, trying to ignore her sweating palms, her speeding heart. ‘I need to get back. Soon.’
‘I see. Well. Let’s get to business then. The other legacy your mother left you.’ He opened the file on his desk, checked something in it, then started rummaging in his desk drawer again.
‘But I thought the house was the only piece of her estate?’ After a moment, he pulled an envelope triumphantly from the drawer and placed it on top of the file in the centre of his desk. ‘Ah, and her car, let’s not forget.’ ‘The old Fiesta?’
‘Still as reliable as ever – although perhaps you’re not a driver?’
Alice wove her fingers together and squeezed her fingers tightly. ‘No, no, I can drive. I just prefer not to.’
‘Good, good,’ the solicitor said, reassured. ‘But! There is one other item in her will.’ He slid the envelope towards her, but kept his hand on top of it. Alice unwove her whitening knuckles and tucked her sweating hands under her thighs to stop herself grabbing the envelope. ‘Shortly before your mother died, she developed an idea. It was something she called “The Kindness Project”, something she had been working on quietly for some time. Of course, she only called it that when we discussed her will in these offices.
But she wanted it to have a certain . . . optimism. And she wanted you to complete it.’ He held out the envelope.
Alice let her head drop forwards, and took a deep breath. Just send whatever emails this requires or donate whatever donations, and go home, she thought, lifting her head, taking the proffered envelope and recognising her mother’s hand on the front. To my daughter Alice, it said. She traced her finger over the letters, watching her own hand as if from a great distance.
‘That’s to get you going,’ Blandford said, in a soft voice. Alice looked up, puzzled.
He smiled gently. ‘Oh yes, Alice. Your mother knew you’d be able to face a challenge. This is the first in a series.’ He stood up, walked around the desk and held out his hand. ‘Until we meet again? And please,’ he added, shaking hands, too polite to react to the state of hers, ‘I am always at your service.’
As Alice stepped out into the bright spring sunlight, the envelope pressed between the pages of her notes, she realised that she needed three things: a hot shower, something a little stronger than tea, and a shortcut back to her real life.
About the author: Sam Binnie has written for the Guardian, Vice magazine, and Google’s Creative Lab, among others, and was the 2005 winner of the Harper’s/Orange Prize Short Story Competition. The Kindness Project is her fourth novel.
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