Nell Leyshon The Colour of Milk: Novel

ISBN 13: 9780062245823

The Colour of Milk: Novel

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9780062245823: The Colour of Milk: Novel
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The year is eighteen hundred and thirty one when fifteen-year-old Mary begins the difficult task of telling her story. A scrap of a thing with a sharp tongue and hair the colour of milk, Mary leads a harsh life working on her father's farm alongside her three sisters. In the summer she is sent to work for the local vicar's invalid wife, where the reasons why she must record the truth of what happens to her - and the need to record it so urgently - are gradually revealed. "Haunting, distinctive voices...Mary's spare simple words paint brilliant pictures in the reader's mind...Nell Leyshon's imaginative powers are considerable". ("Independent"). "Bronte-esque undertones ...a disturbing statement on the social constraints faced by 19th-century women". ("FT"). "A small tour de force - a wonderfully convincing voice, and a devastating story told with great skill and economy". (Penelope Lively). "I loved it. "The Colour of Milk" is charming, Bronte-esque, compelling, special and hard to forget. I loved Mary's voice - so inspiring and likeable. Such a hopeful book". (Marian Keyes). "Brilliant, devastating and unforgettable". (Easy Living). Nell Leyshon's first novel, Black Dirt, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth prize. Her plays include "Comfort me with Apples", which won an Evening Standard Award, and "Bedlam", which was the first play written by a woman for Shakespeare's Globe. She writes for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Richard Imison Award for her first radio play. Nell was born in Glastonbury and lives in Dorset.

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Review:

"I loved it. "The Colour of Milk" is charming, Bront?-esque, compelling, special, and hard to forget. I loved Mary's voice--so inspiring and likeable. Such a hopeful book."--Marian Keyes, bestselling author of "Angels" and "Anybody Out There?"

"Resonant, heartbreaking. . . . "The Colour of Milk" is a truly wonderful read--a slender, beautiful novel with as much heart as a book twice its size."--San Francisco Chronicle

"The unflinching, observant, and thoroughly persuasive voice of the narrator, a shrewd, illiterate farm girl, makes this slim novel striking."--The Atlantic

"Compelling. . . . Leyshon brings her narrator brilliantly to life. . . . Mary draws the reader in from the opening pages. Here is a headstrong, forthright, optimistic character determined to survive her wretched circumstances in a literary jewel crafted by an accomplished writer."--Booklist

"At once lyric and brutal. . . . Readers of historical and women's fiction should investigate."---Library Journal

Resonant, heartbreaking. . . . "The Colour of Milk" is a truly wonderful read a slender, beautiful novel with as much heart as a book twice its size. --San Francisco Chronicle"

The unflinching, observant, and thoroughly persuasive voice of the narrator, a shrewd, illiterate farm girl, makes this slim novel striking. --The Atlantic"

Compelling. . . . Leyshon brings her narrator brilliantly to life. . . . Mary draws the reader in from the opening pages. Here is a headstrong, forthright, optimistic character determined to survive her wretched circumstances in a literary jewel crafted by an accomplished writer. --Booklist"

At once lyric and brutal. . . . Readers of historical and women s fiction should investigate. ---Library Journal"

Nell Leyshon has beautifully captured a voice that haunts, long after the last word has been read. Brava! --Kathleen Grissom, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Kitchen House""

From the Back Cover:

"this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand."

Mary and her three sisters rise every day to backbreaking farmwork that threatens to suppress their own awakening desires, whether it's Violet's pull toward womanhood or Beatrice's affinity for the Scriptures. But it's their father, whose anger is unleashed at the slightest provocation, who stands to deliver the most harm. Only Mary, fierce of tongue and a spitfire since birth, dares to stand up to him. When he sends her to work for the local vicar and his invalid wife in their house on the hill, he deals her the only blow she may not survive.

Within walking distance of her family farm, the vicarage is a world away–a curious, unsettling place unlike any she has ever known. Teeming with the sexuality of the vicar's young son and the manipulations of another servant, it is also a place of books and learning–a source of endless joy. Yet as young Mary soon discovers, such precious knowledge comes at a devastating price, as is gradually made clear once she begins the task of telling her own story.

Reminiscent of Alias Grace in the exploration of the power dynamics between servants and those they serve and of Celie's struggles in The Color Purple, this quietly devastating tour de force reminds us that knowledge can destroy even as it empowers.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780062192066: The Colour of Milk

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  006219206X ISBN 13:  9780062192066
Publisher: Ecco Press, 2014
Softcover

9780241959541: The Colour of Milk

Penguin, 2013
Softcover

9781905490943: The Colour of Milk

Fig Tree, 2012
Hardcover

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