Mary lives on a farm with her three sisters. It is the 1830’s, and they work from day to night, they have to endure heat or cold or the roughness of their parents. But then she is sent to work for the vicar, and it is there where she learns what will become not her salvation, but her tool of resilience: writing. And so, we become witnesses of her life because of what she writes and because she promises to tell us all.
Detachment, this is the best word to describe not Nell Leyshon’s writing of this novel, but Mary’s. Detachment when it comes to describing her family life, her hard work, the everyday challenges of a woman -then and now.
The reader is here in charge of the emotions, the reader is here in charge of understanding what Mary doesn’t: the violence the love the anger. All that she is unable _or chooses not to_ address.
A magnificent and moving novel that reminds us the power of having or not a choice.