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Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Astonishing Splashes of Colour Cover

ISBN13: 9780060734459
ISBN10: 0060734450
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Caught in an over-vivid world because of her synaesthesia (feelings are experienced as colors), Kitty feels haunted by her "child that never was." As children all around become emblems of hope, longing, and grief, she begins to understand the reasons for her shaky sense of self.

What family mystery makes her four brothers so vague about her mother's life, who died when she was three? Why does Dad splash paint on canvas rather than answer his daughter's questions? On the edges of her dreams, Kitty glimpses the kaleidoscope van that took her sister Dinah away — is it a link to her indistinct childhood?

Review:

"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This finely constructed novel, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize, should please readers of both popular and literary fiction." Library Journal

Review:

"[A]n ethereal novel of loss and redemption that is both heartbreaking and beautiful....Characters are brilliantly drawn, the pacing is perfect, and the tone is never maudlin....[A] novel to be savored." Booklist

Review:

"A genuinely solid and satisfying work of fiction, skilfully plotted and fielding a cast of fully realised and individualised characters." Sunday Times

Review:

"An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current." Daily Mail

Review:

"This novel was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize (and should have won)." Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust

Review:

"A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children." The Guardian

Review:

"Fresh, frightening, and raw. There's nothing in the least depressing about this nevertheless sad story, certainly nothing remotely sentimental." Margaret Foster

Review:

"A heartbreaking and accomplished debut." The Bookseller (starred review)

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.)

Review:

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

Review:

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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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.)

Review:

"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

Synopsis:

Booker finalist Astonishing Splashes of Colour takes its title from J. M. Barrie's description of Peter Pan's Neverland. It follows the life of Kitty, a woman who, in a sense, has never grown up. She lives an improvised life reviewing children's books, visiting her husband who lives in the apartment next door, and fostering a growing obsession to replace her lost child.

Kitty's strong, appealing personality drives this novel, as she relates her story in a jumbled state of consciousness. Her moods swing dramatically from high to low and are illuminated by an unusual ability to interpret people and emotions through colour. Kitty struggles to uncover the secrets of her childhood from her father and brothers, but their revelations threaten to overwhelm her tenuous hold on reality, leaving the reader feeling both sympathetic and horrified with her impetuous journey into madness. Skillful, unsentimental, fresh, and original, this is a sparkling debut by a writer of exceptional talent.

About 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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Crystal Clark, January 9, 2007 (view all comments by Crystal Clark)
Morrall offers us characters we can almost touch they?re so real. The book became a fanciful merry-go-round I did not want to end, but was glad for my sanity once the colors stopped spinning. The only reason I did not finish this book in one sitting is because I had to go to work.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060734459
Publisher:
Harper
Location:
New York
Author:
Morrall, Clare
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Married women
Subject:
Book reviewing
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Eccentrics and eccentricities
Subject:
Childlessness
Subject:
Birmingham
Subject:
Loss
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
3248
Publication Date:
20051108
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.56x6.04x1.07 in. 1.12 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Astonishing Splashes of Colour
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060734459 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This finely constructed novel, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize, should please readers of both popular and literary fiction."
"Review" by , "[A]n ethereal novel of loss and redemption that is both heartbreaking and beautiful....Characters are brilliantly drawn, the pacing is perfect, and the tone is never maudlin....[A] novel to be savored."
"Review" by , "A genuinely solid and satisfying work of fiction, skilfully plotted and fielding a cast of fully realised and individualised characters."
"Review" by , "An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current."
"Review" by , "This novel was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize (and should have won)."
"Review" by , "A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children."
"Review" by , "Fresh, frightening, and raw. There's nothing in the least depressing about this nevertheless sad story, certainly nothing remotely sentimental."
"Review" by , "A heartbreaking and accomplished debut."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you forward like a strong current."
"Review" by , "A moving novel about loss, and particularly lost children."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "An intense portrait of a woman who cannot remember her own mother and will never be a mother herself.... A real page-turner."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary, gripping novel written with no sentimentality. A wonderful piece of writing.... it is astonishing that she has never been published before."
"Synopsis" by , Booker finalist Astonishing Splashes of Colour takes its title from J. M. Barrie's description of Peter Pan's Neverland. It follows the life of Kitty, a woman who, in a sense, has never grown up. She lives an improvised life reviewing children's books, visiting her husband who lives in the apartment next door, and fostering a growing obsession to replace her lost child.

Kitty's strong, appealing personality drives this novel, as she relates her story in a jumbled state of consciousness. Her moods swing dramatically from high to low and are illuminated by an unusual ability to interpret people and emotions through colour. Kitty struggles to uncover the secrets of her childhood from her father and brothers, but their revelations threaten to overwhelm her tenuous hold on reality, leaving the reader feeling both sympathetic and horrified with her impetuous journey into madness. Skillful, unsentimental, fresh, and original, this is a sparkling debut by a writer of exceptional talent.

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