Milk – Beverley Farmer

Milk – Beverley FarmerMilk: Stories by Beverley Farmer
Published by Penguin Books on July 2nd 1985
Pages: 178

It’s another of those I-have-no-idea-how-this-got-on-my-TBR-pile books. I don’t recall hearing of Beverley Farmer before but I read it anyway as I love Australian books and I love short stories.

These stories are all about love in various guises. There’s no real romance in here, the romance between two people who are in love but there are many other different kinds of love. The love of a mother for her child. The love of an adult child for her parent. The love for one’s country and the love one thinks is real but isn’t.

I bet you never thought you’d see me writing this kind of stuff. I did think twice about it several times but as there the lovey dovey stuff wasn’t really romance I stuck it out.

What you’ve got here is writing by a woman in her prime. The stories are set in a number of different countries and you can tell she’s actually been there. If you’re Greek you’ll recognise the Greek stories and probably be able to understand the bits that aren’t English. If you’ve got some French you’ll be able to translate the French bits. And if you’ve got some English…

Some of the stories challenge the norm.

You’ve got the lady who was in love but he brought another lady with him when he went to knock on her window so she took drastic action and ended up a spinster. No, she didn’t kill anyone but what she did wasn’t deemed appropriate in that culture, at that time.

Others give us a different view of the norm.

Like the lady who stayed in Australia while her son went to visit relatives in Greece. We see how she survives the experience.

I do take a bit of thought to give a trigger warning for one of the stories, though.