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The Colour of Milk: A Novel
     

The Colour of Milk: A Novel

4.5 2
by Nell Leyshon
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Kathleen Grissom
“Nell Leyshon has beautifully captured a voice that haunts, long after the last word has been read. Brava!”
Penelope Lively
“A wonderfully convincing voice and a devastating story told with great skill & economy. . . . A small tour de force”
Marian Keyes
“A wonderfully convincing voice and a devastating story told with great skill & economy. . . . A small tour de force”
San Francisco Chronicle
“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.”
The Atlantic
“The unflinching, observant, and thoroughly persuasive voice of the narrator, a shrewd, illiterate farm girl, makes this slim novel striking.”
Booklist
“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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062192066
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
696,572
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Kathleen Grissom
“Nell Leyshon has beautifully captured a voice that haunts, long after the last word has been read. Brava!”
Penelope Lively
“A wonderfully convincing voice and a devastating story told with great skill & economy. . . . A small tour de force”
Marian Keyes
“A wonderfully convincing voice and a devastating story told with great skill & economy. . . . A small tour de force”

Meet the Author

Nell Leyshon's first novel, Black Dirt, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. She is also an award-winning dramatist whose plays include Comfort Me with Apples, winner of an Evening Standard Award, and Bedlam, which was the first play written by a woman for Shakespeare's Globe.

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The Colour of Milk 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Bwitchd3 More than 1 year ago
This story is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. Mary is young and innocent, but far from naïve or simple. With a quick wit and sharp tongue, Mary tells everyone exactly how she feels…about everything. None of her relationships are easy, except for the one she has with her grandfather. As Mary’s story unfolds, you see the cage that is built around her and you understand how trapped she is. This concept is something that everyone can relate to in some form. By the end of the book, you’ll want to reach in and hold her, comfort her, and hold back what awaits her. It’s almost too much to bear.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am stunned and sickened but somehow couldn't put it down. I immediately went to see what else she'd written. I love books like this where you might be able to see part of what's going on but indeed there is a twist in the end.