Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Kitty Wellington, the narrator of Clare Morrall's absorbing 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 JM 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. - The Sunday Times
This is a novel that never puts a foot wrong, despite a storyline that takes some surprising twists and turns. It is confident, astute and moving...Morrall reveals [Kitty's] mystery artfully and convincingly, telling a story that is shocking, heart-stopping and completely absorbing. - Observer
An extremely good first novel: deceptively simple, subtly observed, with a plot that drags you along like a strong current. - Daily Mail
Fresh, frightening and raw. There's nothing in the least depressing about this nevertheless sad story, certainly nothing remotely sentimental. - Margaret Forster
Clare Morrall's first novel, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, was published in 2003 and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize that year. She has since published the novels Natural Flights of the Human Mind, The Language of Others, The Man Who Disappeared, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read in 2010, The Roundabout Man and After the Bombing.
Born in Exeter, Clare Morrall now lives in Birmingham. She works as a music teacher, and has two daughters.