This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Emma Kingston
Spilt Milk is a story that spans four generations of a family, across two world wars. First we meet unmarried sisters Nellie and Vivian Marsh, who live a simple life in a tiny cottage in Suffolk. They consider themselves destined for spinsterhood and are content with just each others company, until they both fall in love with the same man. Joe Ferier is a travelling farm hand whose fleeting presence in their life has a lasting impact. There are secrets that will be made and never spoken of, and the beginnings of a history that will rear its head again in their future.
In 1939, just before the outbreak of war, Nellie’s daughter Birdie discovers that she is pregnant to a man she has met only once and who is on his way to fight as a soldier in the war. Nellie turns to her sister to help arrange an adoption for the baby, and whilst Birdie is initially able to put her past behind her and move forward to a life filled with love, her lost daughter stops her from ever finding contentment.
For me Spilt Milk introduced characters that were intriguing, but some of whom were difficult to warm to. That was of course the point, and the bleak settings of this novel really brought home to me the different world that our ancestors lived in. It was a tale of tragic loss, deception and hidden pasts. I enjoyed following the sisters and their family on their journey through life. However, I wasn’t entirely gripped by it, more pleasantly entertained.Well worth a read, but hasn’t earned a place on my ‘favourites’ shelf.