Friday Friyay: 'Milkman' by Anna Burns

MilkmanIt seems that all I have been able to do the past 2 or 3 weeks is write this post and read. I was able to upload a few reviews last week, but this week just flew by and I haven't been able to do anything else. I have a few days off next week, so hopefully I'll be able to write and read a little bit more then. But for now, it's time for our Friday post with Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader, hosted by Gilion Dumas, and Friday 56 at Freda's Voice, hosted by Freda. Today I'm sharing excerpts from Milkman by Anna Burns. I heard loads about this book last year but didn't get around to reading it. And then, surprise, surprise, I found it in an independent bookstore here in Germany!
In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.
Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.
I love the cover and I love the description. I'll be reading this one on my journey to the Netherlands tomorrow and I'm very interested to see what parallels Burns draws to her own native Ireland.


'The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died. He had been shot by one of the state hit squads and I did not care about the shooting of this man.' p1
I love the anonymity of this opening line. We know nothing, really, and yet such a vivid picture has been drawn of a violent city, a dangerous environment.

'Wee sisters giggled again, this time at 'wife' though now there was a nervousness to the giggling.' p56
I'm not entirely sure what is happening here as I haven't started the novel yet, but from the page it seems like there are some serious family conversations happening. I don't know if the 'Wee' is a type (I doubt it), if means 'small' or if it's a name, but it gives the sentence and scene a bit of a familial tone.

And as always, there is the gem that is Book Blogger Hop, hosted over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

Is there a specific genre you like to read during the Winter? - Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

I don't think there is a specific genre I like to read during any specific season. I'm quite hopscotch when it comes to choosing my reads anyway. If I've read something rather intense and suspenseful, I'll probably switch to something lighter, or more fantasy-focused after. I also like to switch up my Fiction with my Non-Fiction. Occasionally winter is the perfect time to curl of with a good Fantasy book though. I did it last year with The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden and it was perfect. Me, the cat, blankets and a wintery, magical word of wonder between the pages.

One thing I do like to do at the end of the year is try and finish off all the books I only got halfway through during the year. So in a weird way I do my own kind of yearly round-up of genres that way.


  1. Now you have definitely piqued my interest. Behind nervous giggling can be a lot of issues! Thanks for sharing.

  2. You had me with the idea of the enormous consequences of inaction. Hope you enjoy Milkman, your trip, and the cat.

    I don't have a genre, per se, but I like to read books in the winter that have strong images of snow because they remind me of my childhood. That's why I featured The Ice Dragon today. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Wow, what a great opener! I'm definitely intrigued to learn more. Love the cover too. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

  4. I had seen MILKMAN, too, and was interested. Are the people really called 'middle sister' and 'brother-in-law'? They aren't named? My quotes from THE DUTCH HOUSE

  5. The quotes are interesting. I hope you enjoy the book once you get to it. :-)

  6. I like that description for a person, Somebody McSomebody. LOL. Happy Friday the 13th Weekend!

  7. The book cover is I wasn't expecting the story to start out as it did. The opening is quite shocking.

  8. I've never heard of this before, but dang does that ever sound interesting! Also, a little terrifying. That opening packs such a punch! I think I'll definitely have to add this one to my TBR. Thanks for sharing!

    Here's my Friday post.

  9. The Milkman does sound good. I love that opening line. It has me wanting to know more.

    I tend to mix up my reading as well. I do read holiday-themed books this time of year mixed in with other types of books, but that's the closest I come to seasonal reading.

    I hope you have a great week!

  10. The cover for milkman is gorgeous. I don't really have any specific holiday reads. I tend to read whatever, I think. I also think Milkman sounds a lot like a fairytale. Happy reading!

  11. That description sounds great. Thanks for sharing!


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