Penguin Book

The Colour of Milk

Nell Leyshon

A searing novel told in the fierce, urgent voice of Mary, an illiterate young farmer's daughter in the 1830s.

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 and the reasons why she must record the truth of what happens to her there, and the need to record it so urgently, are gradually revealed.

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 Theatre. She writes for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Richard Imison Award for her first radio play.

'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, Brontë-esque, compelling, special and hard to forget. I loved Mary's voice - so inspiring and likeable. Such a hopeful book.' Marian Keyes

Publication date
  • Fiction
Format TPS
191 x 118mm
HarperCollins (Ecco)
United Agents LLP
United Agents LLP
United Agents LLP
Audio (Unabridged)
United Agents LLP
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