Spilt milk - Amanda Hodgkinson


From the Publishers blurb ...
The eagerly anticipated new historical novel from the author of 22 Britannia Road: a novel about sisterhood, motherhood, and secrets that cannot be laid to rest.

1913. Unmarried sisters Nellie and Vivian Marsh live an impoverished existence in a tiny cottage on the banks of the Little River in Suffolk. Their life is quiet and predictable, until a sudden flood throws up a strange fish on their doorstep and a travelling man who will change them forever.

1939. Eighteen year old Birdie Farr is working as a barmaid in the family pub in London. When she realises she is pregnant she turns to her mother Nellie, who asks her sister to arrange an adoption for Birdie's new born daughter. But as the years pass Birdie discovers she cannot escape the Marsh sisters' shadowy past - and her own troubling obsession with finding her lost daughter will have deep consequences for all of them...

My thoughts

I enjoyed this book which covers quite a large span of time in the lives of the Marsh family beginning with sisters Rose, Nellie and Vivian living in a tumbledown cottage and struggling to live almost hand to mouth, it follows events as floods hit the area they live in, death touches them and passion is almost their undoing.

The book continues to follow their lives into old age, however it introduces an awful lot of characters and I did find myself getting a little confused myself as to who was who and who was guarding which secret and why but that's probably testament to my weak powers of concentration rather than a fault in the writing.

It's a gentle bucolic tale which meanders like the river they live beside, thundering beginning, building to a powerful ending yet a little too rambling in the middle to gain a perfect score from me.

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