About Me

My photo
United Kingdom
I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Gritty realism at its best

I've just discovered Nell Leyshon... Have you?

A friend introduced me to  The Colour of Milk,  
It is set in 1831 by fifteen-year-old Mary, who had been toiling on her father's farm with her three sisters. She is sent to care for the local vicar's invalid wife. As events unfold, it slowly becomes apparent why it is so important that she keep a record of what has happened. 

Now I'm reading Memoirs of a Dipper.

If you can't cope with harrowing, distressing realism, then these books are not for you. I must confess I have found this second read harder going. I had been feeling quite down lately and came to the conclusion that this novel has been affecting my mood dramatically. 

(Poor Ginger and all the young children in real life, who meet the same, all too common grizzly end.)

The stories are brilliantly told and I am a huge fan of Nell Leyshon as she writes so well with such a compelling individual voice, so I think this book will either have to be put aside, until I feel robust enough to finish it, or read during the day only, rather than evenings

A bookshop friend said to me: "I don't do harrowing..."  

Do you?

10th Oct 2016. I finished 'Memoirs of a Dipper'. It is an excellent book, well crafted and written. Despite the sad chapter with Ginger, I would highly recommend it.



  1. Hi Madeleine - good to see you back and posting. I don't do harrowing either - see or hear enough via the media. Yet the Colour of Milk draws me in ... perhaps someday I'll read it. I am just grateful that that sort of harrowing hasn't touched my life ... all the best and cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, lovely to see you visiting and commenting here too. The Colour of Milk is much less harrowing than Memoirs of a Dipper. I think you would enjoy it. x

  2. So good to see this post, Madeleine. I absolutely loved The Colour of Milk and generally enjoy harrowing books. I didn't know about Memoirs of a Dipper and will be very keen to read that too. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! Wishing you all the best xx

    1. HI Joanna, Yes it is a great read and less harrowing than Memoirs of a Dipper. I think the chapter about poor Ginger is the worst. I hope you enjoy it. She is a great writer :) x

  3. I know it's popular with some, but I prefer not to read fiction which is distressing. I get quite enough gritty reality from the real world.

    1. Hi patsy, yes I understand. I was surprised to learn that women write the most crime fiction and are more likely to be forensic pathologists. I got this from the BBC programme
      Serial Killers - The Women Who Write Crime Fiction
      imagine..., Autumn 2016

  4. I don't think I have read anything by this author- but now I am most interested in reading The Colour of Milk. I like all kinds of books- but I do find that their mood can impact the way I feel- so I try to vary up my reading. :)


Comments with heart are worth their weight in gold. Thank you.
NB: Comments based on others comments can lead to misunderstandings.
COMMENTS now enabled and MAY BE MODERATED so may TAKE TIME TO APPEAR, Thank you.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.