Five words from the blurb: farm, girl, write, unforgettable, year
The Colour of Milk is short, but it packs an emotional punch. The book is set in 1831 and is narrated by Mary, the illiterate daughter of a farmer, who is given the opportunity to learn to read and write. Through her basic, but engaging writing we learn about one turbulent year in her life. A year in which she leaves her family home for the first time to become a maid for the vicar of a neighbouring village.
There was nothing new about the story, but the execution was perfect. Every character was well drawn and every sentence felt necessary. The plot was quite simple, but Mary’s character was engaging and I loved her honest, direct approach to life. The understated descriptions meant that the reader is made to fill in the blanks themselves and this gave the actions a deeper impact :
The lack of punctuation and the unusual sentence structure took a while to get used to, but once I’d adjusted I loved the unique tone:
The ending was predictable, but somehow that didn’t matter. The quality of the writing made it shine and gave it an emotional power that I wasn’t expecting. I’m sure that this book will require a lot of readers to get their tissues out!
This is one of those books that feels like a classic from the moment it is published. I’m sure it will stand the test of time and will be loved by generations of readers.