First Chapter, First Paragraph – ‘The Colour of Milk’ by Nell Leyshon


First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea – it’s is a weekly meme where you share the first paragraph (or two) from a book you are considering reading.

I picked out The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon on the basis of the creative writing (and reading this great review). It’s about a girl who is largely illiterate. As a result, there is little punctuation used. Will that make my eyes bleed? See how you go with the first paragraph –

“this is my book and i am writing it by my own hand. in this year of lord eighteen hundred and thirty one i am reached the age of fifteen and i am sitting by my window and i can see many things. i can see birds and they fill the sky with their cries. i can see the trees and i can see the leaves. and each leaf has veins which run down it. and the bark of each tree has cracks. i am not very tall and my hair is the colour of milk. my name is mary and i have learned to spell it. m. a. r. y. that is how you letter it.”

Could I hack a whole book written in this style? I don’t know. Buy it or bin it?

13 responses

  1. Oh I don’t know. That punctuation would drive me up a wall and I can’t help but question why Leyshon would put the novel in her voice. On the other hand I’m kinda loving her own description of her hair as the color of milk so I might carry on!.

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