- February 3rd 2003
- 336 pages
- B-format paperback
- 978 0 9541303 2
- SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2003
- BRITISH BOOK AWARDS ‘NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR’ 2003
When an innocent trip to see Peter Pan gives Kitty’s four brothers an excuse to deny her access to her much-loved nieces, she finds herself in a skewed, vividly coloured world where children become emblems of hope and longing and grief. Still reeling from the loss of her own “child that never was”, Kitty is suddenly made shockingly aware of the real reason for her pervasive sense of “non-existence”. Suddenly, her family’s oddness, the secrets of her mother’s life and death, and the disappearance of her sister come into a new focus, as Kitty struggles for her own identity.
An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current
— Daily Mail
Kitty Wellington, the narrator of Clare Morrall’s absorbing and sure-footed first novel, has been brought up in a large family by her painter father. Surrounded by older brothers, she has no real recollection of either her mother, who was killed in a car crash, or her sister, who ran away from home.
The great strength of the novel is Kitty herself. Morrall has provided her with a compelling narrative voice – wry, confiding, perceptive. Echoes from J M Barrie’s disturbing masterpiece are quietly sounded, with particular emphasis on missing mothers and ‘lost boys’.
Astonishing Splashes of Colour is not a showy book, but it is extremely well written and compulsively readable. At her very first attempt, Morrall has written a genuinely solid and satisfying work of fiction, skilfully plotted and fielding a cast of fully realised and individualised characters. More, please
Fresh, frightening and raw. There’s nothing in the least depressing about this nevertheless sad story, certainly nothing remotely sentimental
A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children.