The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon

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Sentences do not have capital letters, many begin with the word “And,” and comments are not punctuated with quotation marks...
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Synopsis

The Colour of Milk is a literary tour de force of power, class, and fate, told in the fierce, urgent voice of the irrepressible Mary, a character as indelible as The Color Purple’s Celie and Margaret Atwood’s eponymous Alias Grace.

Set in England in 1830, The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon is an emotionally haunting work of historical fiction — hailed as “charming, Brontë-esque...and hard to forget” (Marian Keyes) — about an illiterate farm girl’s emotional and intellectual awakening and its devastating consequences.

Mary, the spirited youngest daughter of an angry, violent man, is sent to work for the local vicar and his invalid wife. Her strange new surroundings offer unsettling challenges, including the vicar’s lecherous son and a manipulative fellow servant. But life in the vicarage also offers unexpected joys, as the curious young girl learns to read and write — knowledge that will come at a tragic price.

 

About Nell Leyshon

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Nell Leyshon's first novel, Black Dirt, was long-listed for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. She is an award-winning dramatist whose plays include Comfort Me with Apples, winner of an Evening Standard Theatre Award, and Bedlam, which was the first play written by a woman for Shakespeare's Globe. Born in Glastonbury, England, she now lives in Dorset.
 
Published December 26, 2012 by Ecco. 176 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Colour of Milk
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Carol Birch on Jun 15 2012

The fact that she often speaks personally to us as "you", reminding us that these are the words of an unlettered farm girl, paradoxically reinforces the knowledge that we are actually in the hands of a skilled novelist.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Lettie Ransley on Jun 02 2012

Slender but compelling, the charm of Leyshon's novella is to be found as much in its spare, evocative style as in the moving candour of its narrator.

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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Nancy Carty Lepri on Dec 26 2012

Sentences do not have capital letters, many begin with the word “And,” and comments are not punctuated with quotation marks...

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