The Colour of Milk is the new novel by Orange longlisted author and playwright Nell Leyshon.
'this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand' 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, where the reasons why she must record the truth of what happens to her - and the need to record it so urgently - are gradually revealed.
/> 'Haunting, distinctive voices... Mary's spare simple words paint brilliant pictures in the reader's mind . . . Nell Leyshon's imaginative powers are considerable' Independent 'Brontë-esque undertones . . . a disturbing statement on the social constraints faced by 19th-century women' FT '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 'Brilliant, devastating and unforgettable' Easy Living Nell Leyshon's first novel, Black Dirt, was longlisted 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. She writes for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and won the Richard Imison Award for her first radio play. Nell was born in Glastonbury and lives in Dorset.
'Leyshon is a master of domestic suspense' - Observer 'There's different ways to do it: I can slowly move closer step by step, or I can do it in one movement and bump into them. Easiest is in a pub then I can put my drink too close to theirs. Move my stool near theirs. Anything to cross the line.' Gary is a dipper, a burglar, a thief. He is still at junior school when his father first takes him out on the rob, and proves a fast learner: not much more than a child the first time he gets caught, he is a career criminal as soon as he is out again. But Gary is also fiercely intelligent - he often knows more about the antique furniture he is stealing than the people who own it, and is confident in his ability to trick his way out of any situation, always one step ahead. But all that changes when he falls for Mandy...
The Voice A daughters vigil for her mother, and her lost childhood. F Sharp Masako is married to Freyas former boyfriend. The only other thing the two women have in common is the piano though their experiences are worlds apart.
YOU THINK YOU HAVE EVERYTHING. A HAPPY MARRIAGE. CHILDREN YOU LOVE. A JOB YOU ENJOY. A HOUSE YOU'VE MADE INTO A HOME. THEN, ALMOST IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, YOU LOSE IT. ALL. When Rachel decides things arent working and asks Andrew to move out, she thinks she knows what shes doing; thinks she knows how it will be, how Andrew will react, how the children will cope. After all, relationships end all the time, and everyone survives dont they? But Rachel is wrong, and her decision has consequences no one could have foreseen. Rich in detail and atmosphere, and telling the story of a family breakup and a fathers breakdown, Nell Leyshons second novel is uncompromising in its reminder of how easily the life we thought we had can slip through our fingers. At the same time, however, it reminds us that if chaos lurks close to the surface, then so too sometimes does the possibility of repair and redemption.