From the beginning of this book I was completely taken into another world, to one of rural deprivation and where family secrets run as deep as the river which runs alongside the tumble down cottage which is home to the enigmatic Marsh sisters. In 1913, spinster sisters Nellie and Vivian Marsh eke out a bleak existence in the isolated Suffolk hamlet where dark secrets from their past are set to overshadow the whole of their lives. Fast forward to 1939 and London barmaid Birdie Farr’s story becomes inextricably linked with that of the Marsh sisters and as tendrils of the past start to intertwine, you know that life for Birdie will never be the same again.
The story unfolds almost like beautiful cinematography; sometimes in slow motion and at other times in fast freefall. Time and place are captured so perfectly that I could sense the languorous heat of the summer hay field and felt the fast flow of the river as it took the Marsh secrets away.
Beautifully written, this story really gets into the heart of soul of relationships; the love and rivalry between sisters is captured in tortuous detail and the heartbreaking pain of unrequited love lingers in hidden corners.
Without doubt Spilt Milk is real joy to read and it is a story which will stay with me for a very long time.
My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for my review copy of this book.