Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

3.1 6
by Clare Morrall
     
 

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Taking its title from a description of Peter Pan's Neverland, Astonishing Splashes of Colour follows the life of Kitty, a woman who, in a sense, has never grown up. As her moods swing dramatically from high to low, they are illuminated by an unusual ability to interpret people and emotions through colour.

Kitty struggles to come to terms with her life,

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Overview

Taking its title from a description of Peter Pan's Neverland, Astonishing Splashes of Colour follows the life of Kitty, a woman who, in a sense, has never grown up. As her moods swing dramatically from high to low, they are illuminated by an unusual ability to interpret people and emotions through colour.

Kitty struggles to come to terms with her life, including the loss of her mother, a miscarriage, and an unconventional marriage to her husband, who lives in the apartment next door. And when her father and brothers reveal a family secret long hidden, it overwhelms Kitty's tenuous hold on reality and propels her on an impetuous journey to the brink of madness.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Editorial Reviews

John Carey
"An extraordinary, gripping novel written with no sentimentality. A wonderful piece of writing"
The Guardian(UK)
"A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children"
Laurie Fox
“Equally dangerous and endearing, ASTONISHING SPLASHES OF COLOUR is a poignant tour through the many moods of loss.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard
“Astonishing Splashes of Color commands us from the first page...”
Professor John Carey
“An extraordinary, gripping novel written with no sentimentality. A wonderful piece of writing”
Sunday Times (London)
“Absorbing and sure-footed first novel...extremely well written and cimpulsively readable...a genuinely solid and satisfying work of fiction.”
Buffalo News
“Wellington, a memorable heroine, narrates “Astonishing Splashes of Color,” a terrific debut novel by British writer Clare Morrall.”
New York Times Book Review
“...propulsive and compelling...a gripping [story].”
Boston Globe
“Beautifully subtle. . . . It draws the reader in page after page.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“A core of truth, suffused with a golden glow, becoming more pleasurable the more [it] wander[s].”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Astonishing Splashes of Colours is a brave and startling book, tinted, shaded and stained like life itself.”
Independent (UK)
“An inprobably uplifting novel about depression and its sources.”
Bookseller (London)
“A heart-breaking and accomplished debut.”
The Guardian (UK)
“A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children”
Daily Mail (London)
“An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current.”
Taylor Antrim
There's no happy ending in Astonishing Splashes of Colour, Clare Morrall's propulsive and compelling Booker-Prize-nominated novel. That's not a spoiler; you can smell calamity brewing on the first page.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Like Booker-winner Monica Ali, British newcomer and Booker finalist Morrall creates an alienated yet immensely appealing heroine. But unlike Ali's protagonist, Kitty Wellington is at home in Britain's culture; it's her spectacularly dysfunctional family and a personal tragedy that bring her grief. Dangerously unstable after a miscarriage and her resulting inability to conceive again, Kitty sees other people and her environment in auras of color. A device brilliantly effective at times, this serves to establish Kitty's febrile, fantastical imagination. For three years, Kitty has lived in a flat next door to her loving, ineffectual husband, whose own problems (a limp; an obsession with order; a fear of unfamiliar places) render him similarly incapable of dealing with the world. But Morrall gradually reveals the real cause of Kitty's anguish: her lack of identity. Brought up helter-skelter by her irascible, eccentric artist father and four older brothers, Kitty has no memory of her mother, who died when she was three. Even in her most depressed moments, however, Kitty has wit and intelligence, even as her childlike impulsiveness and failure to foresee the consequences of her acts lead her to initiate a double kidnapping. Morrall artfully reveals the true story of Kitty's family in a suspenseful plot that unfolds like layers of an onion, meanwhile providing a convincing portrait of a woman striving for emotional survival. Agent, Laura Longrigg. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In Morrall's debut novel, the first-person narrator, Katherine Wellington, is at the edge of sanity because of a miscarriage three years ago and the presumed death of her mother when she was three. As Katherine searches for a surrogate child and information about her mother, each episode, ironically, increases her sense of loss. When the truth about Katheroziine's mother is revealed, Morrall has prepared readers for it so well that we are not surprised. Although the situation sounds like a soap opera, Morrall's sympathetic and complex narrator and her artist father and five brothers avoid sentimentality. The title describes Peter Pan's Neverland, and the theme of people lost in childhood and unable to grow up is developed through the narrator, her husband, and a runaway girl she takes up with. Allusions to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland contribute to the theme. This finely constructed novel, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize, should please readers of both popular and literary fiction. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/04.]-Elaine Bender, El Camino Coll., Torrance, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A heartbreaking and accomplished debut.”
The Bookseller (starred review)

“Absorbing and sure-footed.…. Extremely well written and compulsively readable.… 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.”
Sunday Times (U.K.)

“An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current.”
Daily Mail (U.K.)

“A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children.”
The Guardian (U.K.)

“We are drawn by Kitty into her unique world as she strives for a sense of self, of belonging.… I defy anyone to read this book slowly. Or to read it once and then just forget it.”
–newBOOKS.mag

“An intense portrait of a woman who cannot remember her own mother and will never be a mother herself.… A real page-turner.”
Big Issue (U.K.)

“An extraordinary, gripping novel written with no sentimentality. A wonderful piece of writing – it is astonishing that she has never been published before.”
–Professor John Carey, Chair of the Man Booker Prize

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060734466
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/13/2005
Series:
P.S. Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,072,914
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Clare Morrall's first novel, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. She is a music teacher with two grown children. She lives in Birmingham, England.

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