The Colour of Milk

A deceptively simple book, The Colour of Milk is a story about a poor farm girl in the mid-19th century. Mary is sent away to earn money for her family working as a carer to the vicar’s invalid wife. There Mary learns to read and write. In the meantime her sister, still working on the farm, becomes pregnant by the vicar’s son, who escapes responsibility – and gets away with it. After the vicar’s wife dies, Mary experiences abuse. The treatment of women and the poor serves as the backdrop to this tale about empowerment. While the story might not be the most original, it is a worthwhile read just for the voice and lively expression of the first person narrator.

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