A brilliant book, and unputdownable. Milkman, which won the 2018 Booker Prize, is a novel about a young girl in a nonspecific war-torn place, although the non-specificity of proper nouns is part of the menacing ambiguity of what is obviously 1970's Belfast, peak-Troubles. The girl, who crosses paths with a member of the IRA, is a case study in the formlessness and fury of young girlhood, but it is also a novel that delivers you a world fully formed, lyrically dense, and funnier than anyone would lead you to believe. Rarely do I think books that win big awards are deserving of them. Milkman is.— Madeleine
THERE WERE 'OUR SHOPS' AND 'THEIR SHOPS'. PLACENAMES. WHAT SCHOOL YOU WENT TO. WHAT PRAYERS YOU SAID...YOU CREATED A POLITICAL STATEMENT EVERYWHERE YOU WENT, AND WITH EVERYTHING YOU DID, EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T WANT TO... In Northern Ireland, 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. Set against the backdrop of the Troubles, MILKMAN is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness...and of inaction with enormous consequences.