Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon
"this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand."
"i want to tell you what it is that happened but i must be ware not to rush at it like the heifers at the gate for if i do that i will get ahead of my self so quick that i will trip and fall and anyway you will want me to start where a person ought to.
and that is at the beginning."
The event that Mary records in her own hand begins when she is sent to be a servant at the nearby vicarage. I was captivated by her voice and immersed in her life right through to the shocking finish. The story is short (under 200 pages) and unforgettable.
Readalikes: Year of Wonders (Geraldine Brooks); Alias Grace (Margaret Atwood); and Harvest (Jim Crace).
The Colour of Milk is an adult novel (suitable for age 15 and up), but the character Mary reminded me of Meggy, the sharp-tongued (and much grumpier) disabled character in a children's book, Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman. Cushman has other historical novels for young people that would enjoyable for adult readers, including Catherine Called Birdy and The Midwife's Apprentice.