Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Astonishing Splashes of Colour Short listed for the Man Booker Prize in this absorbing beautifully written and perceptive novel perfectly captures the complexity of memory and the dynamics of family life When an innocent tr

  • Title: Astonishing Splashes of Colour
  • Author: Clare Morrall
  • ISBN: 9780954130329
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • Short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2003, this absorbing, beautifully written, and perceptive novel perfectly captures the complexity of memory and the dynamics of family life When an innocent trip to see the play 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 colored world where chilShort listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2003, this absorbing, beautifully written, and perceptive novel perfectly captures the complexity of memory and the dynamics of family life When an innocent trip to see the play 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 colored world where children become emblems of hope, 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 startling new focus one that leaves Kitty struggling to find own identity.

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    1 thought on “Astonishing Splashes of Colour”

    1. What an amazing book. I've read some reviews where readers have said they were disappointed. I think this comes from the blurb giving the impression that this is a story about synaesthesia. However, this is only one small part of Kitty, the narrator of this story of a dysfunctional family. At heart this is a story of a woman, brought up in an all male household, no mother on the scene and who, after the loss of a child, suffers with depression. When family secrets are revealed, dropped on Kitty [...]

    2. This is a strange and fascinating novel. Kitty, who narrates the novel, is a woman in her thirties who feels lost in various ways - she knows that when she was a young child, her mother was killed in a car crash and her older sister ran away from home, but she cannot remember either of them. She had a baby of her own who died, and she is haunted by this. She feels lost in a sort of Never-Never Land (the novel's title is a quotation from Peter Pan) and reality and fantasy get merged in her mind, [...]

    3. ASTONISHING SPLASHES OF COLOUR was a compelling but depressing novel. Kitty comes across as quite unhinged for much of the story, so accompanying her through this journey is both frustrating and excruciating at the best of times.She has an odd relationship with her husband James. To be honest, she has an odd relationship with nearly everyone in this book, especially young Megan. Furthermore, the revelation re Dinah was not a revelation whatsoever - you could see it coming a mile away.

    4. Splashy, yes. Astonishing? No. I imagine a lot of people figured out early on in this book what the surprises would be. I'd like to think the plot was constructed as a stage for synaethesia, but even that seems hardly fleshed out. Unfortunately my sympathy for the character, Kitty, didn't go very far, despite what are admittedly some pretty big troubles. Aside from her, the other characters seemed underdeveloped. They came with labels: the husband is "sanity in a can," the oldest brother "the su [...]

    5. I tried. I really, really tried to finish this book, but I just couldn't. I always feel terrible for not finishing a book, but with this one, I also feel strangely relieved.What made this book interesting to me was for one the title and then the concept: being raised as the youngest of a number of siblings, almost all brothers, never knowing her mother, Kitty tries to find out about the history of her family and especially her mother. If the author had spent more time on the supporting character [...]

    6. Review published in the New Zealand Herald, November 2003Astonishing Splashes of ColourClare Morrall(Tindal Street Press, $29.95)Reviewed by Philippa JamiesonAstonshing Splashes of Colour was shortlisted for this year's Man Booker prize, and is certainly a well-crafted first novel and a good read. The prosaic style belies its subtlety and depth, and the author captures the ephemeral in solid form, translating universal themes of loss and family relationships into a poignant story.The novel begin [...]

    7. I read the book because of title and I enjoyed the few moments here and there when Clare Morrall played up her book's connection to Peter Pan but for the most part Astonishing Splashes of Colour left me bored. Kitty for a variety of reasons is a thirty-something adult who refuses to grow-up. It's not that she's young at heart or playful, she doesn't want to face the harsh reality that life can sometimes throw at a person.Of course, there must be reasons for Kitty's withdrawal from the real world [...]

    8. This is a very nice book. Very nice. Not amazing, but nice. I didn't like the first chapter, I thought it was going to be another of those jolly worthwhile books with a childlike tone, written from the perspective of someone suffering mental illness. This is fine, but I feel like I've been there and done that and didn't really want to do again. That's probably very ignorant of me, but it's how I felt as I initially read about Kitty, the book's narrator, waiting outside the school to pick up a no [...]

    9. I absolutely ADORED this book. The story of a young woman struggling to define heridentity among highly unusual circumstances. Beautifully written, a storythat draws you in completely, wonderfully crafted three-dimensionalcharacters, settings that live and breathe all on their own. Virtuallyflawless.A favourite passage (one of many): "Most couples I know blend and merge whenthey marry, take each other's colours and become stronger.James and Idon't seem to have worked out how to do that permanent [...]

    10. A bit depressing. I have a lot of pity for the main character, Kitty. The first one-third of the book is a bit slow, it's only telling Kitty go about her day, in fact, I can't understand her main purpose until then. I'm also really surprised and saddened that Martin has to die. I've grown quite fond of him.

    11. This is the story of Kitty, a woman with a peculiar family history who has suffered a personal tragedy resulting in the loss of her unborn child - and the loss of her ability to have children. This experience has knocked Kitty a little off her rocker, and we follow her through a series of interactions that cause her to unravel further.I really wanted to like this novel because of its title. As the first few pages indicate, "Astonishing splashes of colour" is a quote from Peter Pan, which evokes [...]

    12. I could not warm to this. Not helped by first person present. As for the supposed synesthesia, the author is not synesthetic and doesn't 'get' it at all; chucking colour related adjectives around does not give anything like a sense of synesthesia. As for making Kitty hyper-aware of nuances of feeling, emotion, colour and then having her report being unable to picture her brothers as individuals when she was younger - they appeared in memory as a generic 'brother', you can't have it both ways; ei [...]

    13. An emotionally engaging, worrying, beautiful, tragic, wonderful and upsetting book. In the beginning, I kept thinking how amazing it is that the main character, Kitty, is functioning at all. What a tragic childhood, what a dysfunctional family, what a terrible thing she went through as an adult. And then it just goes from very bad to a whole lot worse. As a reader, you know it's all going terribly wrong, but it's still oddly mesmerising. Poor Kitty, she's been lied to all her life, she didn't kn [...]

    14. I really enjoyed this book, just I didn’t like the end. It changed too fast from deeply and colorfully portrayed psychological world to high-speed action book. While Kitty sucked me like a black hole into her Peter Pan childish and confused perspective while trying to figure out why she was seeing everything in colours and discovering about her silent brothers and too distracted father, non existing mother and sister, and then slowly evolving into her own husband and child story – I thought, [...]

    15. I finished this book about a week ago. When I began it, I loved it. It seemed to hold a lot of promise and mystery, and it did indeed hold my attention throughout. The main character is a little unbalanced, but not so much so that you can't relate to her and like her. The cause of the loss of balance is gradually revealed, but even more gradually revealed is the underlying cause: deception. I can't say more without having to declare this a spoiler. The book is very well written, but I must say t [...]

    16. This is a meandering, slow-paced account of a woman and all her emotions concerning her family, her lost baby and everything she experiences - right down to how coffee swirls in the cup, how light falls across a room - the writing is so busy being poetic that the story is put on hold and all sympathy with the main character Kitty, is by-passed.I see it was short-listed for the Booker and perhaps many other people would enjoy it but it is excruciatingly slow and describes endless details that are [...]

    17. Focuses on a motherless child/childless mother from a big but emotionally distant family. References to Peter Pan make a rather crass analogy. She is also a synaesthete (though oddly that thread fizzles out as the plot becomes more interesting), and has very little social/self awareness of the consequences of her actions on others. You never really understand any of the characters - and especially not why James loves her. Perhaps that is a deliberate parallel with how little any of the character [...]

    18. The cover of this book drew me in. It really stands out among the other books of the same subject manner. The story revolves around Kitty, who is a childlike woman living next door to her husband, who rides in circles for hours on the city bus and sees the world as a kaleidoscope of colors. You watch as she unravels her reality & her fantasy worlds, which have become intertwined. There are a few surprising plot twists, which, had I not been so engrossed with the novel, I may have seen coming [...]

    19. Fascinating impressions and way of describing a complex illness. The protagonist is slowly going crazy, but the reader is led to this conclusion slowly, apart from the labels we are often thrusting on anyone who is different. Beautiful way of seeing the world.

    20. Fabulous book. First-person narration critical to book. As Kitty slips into madness, her reasoning seems perfectly logical. Color is a continual theme, along with lost children.

    21. Really? This novel was short-listed for the 2003 Mann-Booker prize? I am shocked. It was a mess! Was it about mental illness? The ties that bind? Babies? Ugh, who cares.

    22. A story of a dysfunctional family with a very depressed and unbalanced woman at it's centre.Best described in three words-depressing.

    23. This was an amazing read. I don't always go for the messed-up protagonist fiction, but this was deftly handled and beautifully written.

    24. Clare Morrall. Astonishing Splashes of Colour. « - Мы должны с этим смириться – устроить жизнь без детей, делать то, что хотим. Мне трудно говорить. Смотрю на потолок и вижу крошечного паучка, устремляющегося к какой-то призрачной цели. А знает ли он, куда идет? Или откуда пришел? - Да, - говорю я » Зв [...]

    25. I see that this book didn't get good reviews from a number of people. I loved it, maybe because I bought it at the Dollar Tree and all I knew about it was that it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.The story is from the point of view of a quirky character, Katie. Something is wrong with her and even though I worked it out fairly early, I still enjoyed following her on her journey. The book is not heavy, nor is it deep. Don't expect any huge revelations. I guess I can't explain exactly why [...]

    26. Good plot line, but very muddled in the beginning - theme/device of the colors is not applied consistently throughout - and the brother characters are not developed nearly enough for the presence they play at the end.

    27. Astonishingly good evocation of adult children navigating childhood trauma - doing their best to adhere to a standard of "normal" for which they have no context. In particular, Morrall illuminates how completely insane behavior appears logical to the person engaging in it - beautifully done.

    28. Brilliant. The first half sets up the characters and the second half takes them on a few twists and turns. A thriller of a sort. Disfunctional family in the extreme.

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