Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

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.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062035172
List price: $9.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Astonishing Splashes of Colour
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
It's so good! It's the kind of book in which I get fully engaged with the character that I miss her when the book is finished. I love the way the author makes the character lovable. I don't know really how to explain it. With Good in Bed, I had many times where I disliked the main character for her character flaws and weaknesses. I judged her. In Colour, I never ever felt that way. I wanted to help the other characters understand the protaganist and not judge her. The novel swallows you into itself, so that you're part of it, not a spectator. And the story, or at least the main character, is fresh and original so that you want to keep reading.

It would make an excellent book club book because there's so much to discuss -- I could even use it in school, because there's no sex or swearing or anything, but it's 'clean' in a way that I didn't even notice it was until I actually thought about it, which is very welcome and rare.
more
Strange. Difficult to keep up with the narrator's random trips to crazytown. Heavy.more
The cover of this book uses terms like 'solid', 'unassuming', 'not showy', and I worried it might plod. In fact it moves pleasingly quickly, with a series of events that will both shock and fascinate. There is a fair amount of humour, and anyone who has struggled with (or even without) children will sympathise with the main character Kitty.I guessed the main 'surprise' in the book before it came up, and I don't often do that. Nevertheless, it's still a 4star for me.more
Kitty and her family. Loved it second time aroundmore
** spoiler alert ** While I can appreciate the brilliance of this book in its portrayal of the unstable Peter-Pan-like Kitty, I cannot say I loved it. I couldn't feel sympathy for Kitty, I found her annoying and unable to relate with her irresponsible, disturbed behaviour. Maybe I lack the perspective of a mother to fully understand her grief, but I kept thinking her reactions were too extreme and therefore I couldn't really relate enough to like her.Only on page 200 when Margaret returns and secrets a...more While I can appreciate the brilliance of this book in its portrayal of the unstable Peter-Pan-like Kitty, I cannot say I loved it. I couldn't feel sympathy for Kitty, I found her annoying and unable to relate with her irresponsible, disturbed behaviour. Maybe I lack the perspective of a mother to fully understand her grief, but I kept thinking her reactions were too extreme and therefore I couldn't really relate enough to like her.Only on page 200 when Margaret returns and secrets are spilled and Kitty's hold on reality spirals out of control, I started to feel a bit of sympathy for her, but during her escape with Megan it was already lost again.I love Morrall's style of writing, I love her detailed and deep portrayals, I liked everything about this book but the protagonist. I must say I preferred Natural Flights of the Human Mind.more
A beautiful cover...an intriguingtitle...an interesting blurb on the back of the book....I've learnedthat all of these can promote excessive expectations and lead to adire case of book disappointment. Sometimes I think I'd rather knowtoo little about a book and thus come to expect little.I had high expectations for this book. If you go into reading itwithout expecting "astonishing splashes of colour", if you beginreading, thinking, perhaps, "nice and interesting splashes", I thinkyou might rate the book higher than I did when you finish. What Iliked best about this novel were the characters and the relationshipsbetween them. It was a psychological study rather than a true plotdriven novel; I like that, too. It didn't sweep me away, but I washappy to have read the book.more
After I finished reading this, a few weeks ago, I didn't really know what to think of it. On the one hand, it was a pleasant read, on the other hand, it seemed so overly dramatic that the characters started to irritate me. And the story was too predictable.The narrator of the story is Kitty, a thirty-something reviewer of children's books. She is utterly unconnected to other people, not belonging to anything or anyone. Her dad and her older brothers are loving, yet there is no real communication. She's never known her mum and her older sister, who ran away from home before Kitty was even born. Her husband lives in the apartment next door, and because of the difference in character he and Kitty find it hard to talk about the things that really matter. Kitty has a deep wish to at least connect to a child as its mother, but even here the odds have turned against her. Even her clumsy attempts to be a fun aunt to her nieces are not appreciated. She has no friends, and as she works independently has no colleagues to connect to either. So, a disturbed, isolated person, that we follow from the inside.Of course, not much good can come of this. And it doesn't. I think the drama was just too much for me. On the one hand you would feel sympathy for a person who has ended up so disadvantaged as she has, but actually I started to get irritated. By the story, because it was just too improbable. Family secret, OK, dead baby, OK, difficult relationship, OK, but all on top of each other, not OK... And by the main character, who just doesn't get herself together, behaves childish, and just runs to a psychologist (the archetypical wise woman) to solve her problems. Also, the so called family secret was so obvious that I wondered if Kitty was a complete fool for not getting this earlier on in the story.The descriptions of the other characters from the viewpoint of a disturbed person are good, and the novel is well written language wise, so I wouldn't say it's an absolute disaster, but I wouldn't recommend this to any of my friends.more
I don't really know what I think about this book. There were quite a few parts of the book that I liked, but overall, it didn't move me. I did sympathize for Kitty (a little). I think we should've gotten to know her brothers and James a little bit better. Also, I thought there would be more of an emphasis on colour...Overall, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it, and I'm glad I did, but don't expect it to be 'astonishing'.more
This is the kind of book I could read a thousand times over. This is the style of writing I most identify with. Astonishing Splashes of Colour is so intimate and in-your-face I feel as if Morrall's main character, Kitty, is leaning in to tell me deep and dark secrets, stories of embarrassing moments, and airing her dirty laundry with a wave of her hand and an air of factual nonchalance. She makes me squirm with her frankness, her vulnerability. Kitty is a thirty-something with something to hide. Her past has as many demons and devils as it does angels. Losing her mother at three years old, the knowledge of an older sister who ran away from home, the fact having four brothers who not only are disconnected from one another but only pretend to be connected to her, the frustrations of having a father who loses himself in painting and has episodes of pouting, the confusion of having an excessively neat husband who lives across the hall in a separate apartment, the heartbreak of a miscarriage Kitty insists on waiting for after school...then there are the colors. Kitty has the uncanny ability to see human emotion, human circumstance as a myriad of color. Her world is not black and white sane, but rather a rainbow of mental chaos. As if all this wasn't enough everything turns out different from what one would expect. I couldn't put it down...more
This is the story of Kitty Wellington, who is suffering from a breakdown following a miscarriage. Kitty is a wonderful character, and as I watched her make a series of bad decisions, I came to care very much about her.Along the way, we find out more about Kitty's past and her family: why her father and four brothers seem so reluctant to talk about their mother, who died when Kitty was three. And why Kitty lives next door to her husband, James, who suffers from his own mental and physical challenges. I came to love James as much as I cared about Kitty.Clare Morrall has written a great family story. The plot is plausible, but not predictable, and the book brings things to a conclusion without tying everything up too neatly and I didn't think it was contrived in any way.more
This is one of those books I could not stop reading. The story was rather sad in parts although enjoyable reading at the same time. I really felt for the main character Kitty.more
I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. Kitty Wellington lives in Birmingham, in the flat next door to her husband. The story is about how she progresses into a nervous breakdown following a miscarriage. She obsesses about children, buying things for 'baby', taking her nieces to the theatre and keeping them out late without telling the parents, 'stealing' two children. It ends fairly spectacularly, and you really do end up empathising with Kitty, despite all the idiotic things that she does. It's like a car crash waiting to happen.The book led into the ending. It wasn't shocking, it wasn't totally predictable either, but it kept you reading until the last page. The book was well-written, and didn't flit about from one thing to the next. It was well-paced, and definitely worthy of being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003.more
This book tells the story of a woman on the verge of nervous breakdown, precipitated by a recent miscarriage that has left her unable to have children. The main character, Kitty, proceeds to do all sorts of irresponsible things, and it quickly becomes evident that her life is hurtling towads tragedy at warp speed. In the background of all of this is Kitty's disintegrating career, an unusually distant relationship with her husband, and an unusual ability to see and feel colors with great intensity. While I found the book interesting, Kitty was not an entirely sympathetic character. All too frequently, all the reader can do is cringe at Kitty's activities, as they are so obviously misguided, and she is so clearly in need of help. That said, this book presents an imaginative plot, and was an enjoyable read.more
Astonishing Splashes of Colour shows how one woman, Kitty, deals with loss and her mysterious childhood built from lies. Morral continuously relates life to colors. At times I'd stop and think "oh, that was a clever way to describe that." In a way it pulled me away from the story rather than strengthen the story and characters. However, it didn't happen too often and I felt such sympathy for Kitty.more
I finally picked up this book, which I had been looking at for quite some time. It grabbed my attention and kept it right through to the end. It's a sad story, but not without it's warmer and lighter moments, and certainly not without hope. Morrall creates a wonderful central character who goes through a painful process of self-discovery. The book is beautifully written. As soon as I finished it, I ordered her other works.more
A great idiosyncratic narrator, marriage and family. Great book! Warm, odd, funny and optimistic at the same time. And the narration that keeps you "just informed"- not too much, and not too little- just what you need to know to keep going. And you do keep going- I had to finish it before reading anything else. I read it with a big grin on my face. Even some inevitable tragedies couldn't wipe it off my face. Reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time. A lot.more
Sublime y exquisita obra que se disfruta desde el primer capítulo. Áltamente recomendable.more
Read all 18 reviews

Reviews

It's so good! It's the kind of book in which I get fully engaged with the character that I miss her when the book is finished. I love the way the author makes the character lovable. I don't know really how to explain it. With Good in Bed, I had many times where I disliked the main character for her character flaws and weaknesses. I judged her. In Colour, I never ever felt that way. I wanted to help the other characters understand the protaganist and not judge her. The novel swallows you into itself, so that you're part of it, not a spectator. And the story, or at least the main character, is fresh and original so that you want to keep reading.

It would make an excellent book club book because there's so much to discuss -- I could even use it in school, because there's no sex or swearing or anything, but it's 'clean' in a way that I didn't even notice it was until I actually thought about it, which is very welcome and rare.
more
Strange. Difficult to keep up with the narrator's random trips to crazytown. Heavy.more
The cover of this book uses terms like 'solid', 'unassuming', 'not showy', and I worried it might plod. In fact it moves pleasingly quickly, with a series of events that will both shock and fascinate. There is a fair amount of humour, and anyone who has struggled with (or even without) children will sympathise with the main character Kitty.I guessed the main 'surprise' in the book before it came up, and I don't often do that. Nevertheless, it's still a 4star for me.more
Kitty and her family. Loved it second time aroundmore
** spoiler alert ** While I can appreciate the brilliance of this book in its portrayal of the unstable Peter-Pan-like Kitty, I cannot say I loved it. I couldn't feel sympathy for Kitty, I found her annoying and unable to relate with her irresponsible, disturbed behaviour. Maybe I lack the perspective of a mother to fully understand her grief, but I kept thinking her reactions were too extreme and therefore I couldn't really relate enough to like her.Only on page 200 when Margaret returns and secrets a...more While I can appreciate the brilliance of this book in its portrayal of the unstable Peter-Pan-like Kitty, I cannot say I loved it. I couldn't feel sympathy for Kitty, I found her annoying and unable to relate with her irresponsible, disturbed behaviour. Maybe I lack the perspective of a mother to fully understand her grief, but I kept thinking her reactions were too extreme and therefore I couldn't really relate enough to like her.Only on page 200 when Margaret returns and secrets are spilled and Kitty's hold on reality spirals out of control, I started to feel a bit of sympathy for her, but during her escape with Megan it was already lost again.I love Morrall's style of writing, I love her detailed and deep portrayals, I liked everything about this book but the protagonist. I must say I preferred Natural Flights of the Human Mind.more
A beautiful cover...an intriguingtitle...an interesting blurb on the back of the book....I've learnedthat all of these can promote excessive expectations and lead to adire case of book disappointment. Sometimes I think I'd rather knowtoo little about a book and thus come to expect little.I had high expectations for this book. If you go into reading itwithout expecting "astonishing splashes of colour", if you beginreading, thinking, perhaps, "nice and interesting splashes", I thinkyou might rate the book higher than I did when you finish. What Iliked best about this novel were the characters and the relationshipsbetween them. It was a psychological study rather than a true plotdriven novel; I like that, too. It didn't sweep me away, but I washappy to have read the book.more
After I finished reading this, a few weeks ago, I didn't really know what to think of it. On the one hand, it was a pleasant read, on the other hand, it seemed so overly dramatic that the characters started to irritate me. And the story was too predictable.The narrator of the story is Kitty, a thirty-something reviewer of children's books. She is utterly unconnected to other people, not belonging to anything or anyone. Her dad and her older brothers are loving, yet there is no real communication. She's never known her mum and her older sister, who ran away from home before Kitty was even born. Her husband lives in the apartment next door, and because of the difference in character he and Kitty find it hard to talk about the things that really matter. Kitty has a deep wish to at least connect to a child as its mother, but even here the odds have turned against her. Even her clumsy attempts to be a fun aunt to her nieces are not appreciated. She has no friends, and as she works independently has no colleagues to connect to either. So, a disturbed, isolated person, that we follow from the inside.Of course, not much good can come of this. And it doesn't. I think the drama was just too much for me. On the one hand you would feel sympathy for a person who has ended up so disadvantaged as she has, but actually I started to get irritated. By the story, because it was just too improbable. Family secret, OK, dead baby, OK, difficult relationship, OK, but all on top of each other, not OK... And by the main character, who just doesn't get herself together, behaves childish, and just runs to a psychologist (the archetypical wise woman) to solve her problems. Also, the so called family secret was so obvious that I wondered if Kitty was a complete fool for not getting this earlier on in the story.The descriptions of the other characters from the viewpoint of a disturbed person are good, and the novel is well written language wise, so I wouldn't say it's an absolute disaster, but I wouldn't recommend this to any of my friends.more
I don't really know what I think about this book. There were quite a few parts of the book that I liked, but overall, it didn't move me. I did sympathize for Kitty (a little). I think we should've gotten to know her brothers and James a little bit better. Also, I thought there would be more of an emphasis on colour...Overall, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it, and I'm glad I did, but don't expect it to be 'astonishing'.more
This is the kind of book I could read a thousand times over. This is the style of writing I most identify with. Astonishing Splashes of Colour is so intimate and in-your-face I feel as if Morrall's main character, Kitty, is leaning in to tell me deep and dark secrets, stories of embarrassing moments, and airing her dirty laundry with a wave of her hand and an air of factual nonchalance. She makes me squirm with her frankness, her vulnerability. Kitty is a thirty-something with something to hide. Her past has as many demons and devils as it does angels. Losing her mother at three years old, the knowledge of an older sister who ran away from home, the fact having four brothers who not only are disconnected from one another but only pretend to be connected to her, the frustrations of having a father who loses himself in painting and has episodes of pouting, the confusion of having an excessively neat husband who lives across the hall in a separate apartment, the heartbreak of a miscarriage Kitty insists on waiting for after school...then there are the colors. Kitty has the uncanny ability to see human emotion, human circumstance as a myriad of color. Her world is not black and white sane, but rather a rainbow of mental chaos. As if all this wasn't enough everything turns out different from what one would expect. I couldn't put it down...more
This is the story of Kitty Wellington, who is suffering from a breakdown following a miscarriage. Kitty is a wonderful character, and as I watched her make a series of bad decisions, I came to care very much about her.Along the way, we find out more about Kitty's past and her family: why her father and four brothers seem so reluctant to talk about their mother, who died when Kitty was three. And why Kitty lives next door to her husband, James, who suffers from his own mental and physical challenges. I came to love James as much as I cared about Kitty.Clare Morrall has written a great family story. The plot is plausible, but not predictable, and the book brings things to a conclusion without tying everything up too neatly and I didn't think it was contrived in any way.more
This is one of those books I could not stop reading. The story was rather sad in parts although enjoyable reading at the same time. I really felt for the main character Kitty.more
I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did. Kitty Wellington lives in Birmingham, in the flat next door to her husband. The story is about how she progresses into a nervous breakdown following a miscarriage. She obsesses about children, buying things for 'baby', taking her nieces to the theatre and keeping them out late without telling the parents, 'stealing' two children. It ends fairly spectacularly, and you really do end up empathising with Kitty, despite all the idiotic things that she does. It's like a car crash waiting to happen.The book led into the ending. It wasn't shocking, it wasn't totally predictable either, but it kept you reading until the last page. The book was well-written, and didn't flit about from one thing to the next. It was well-paced, and definitely worthy of being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003.more
This book tells the story of a woman on the verge of nervous breakdown, precipitated by a recent miscarriage that has left her unable to have children. The main character, Kitty, proceeds to do all sorts of irresponsible things, and it quickly becomes evident that her life is hurtling towads tragedy at warp speed. In the background of all of this is Kitty's disintegrating career, an unusually distant relationship with her husband, and an unusual ability to see and feel colors with great intensity. While I found the book interesting, Kitty was not an entirely sympathetic character. All too frequently, all the reader can do is cringe at Kitty's activities, as they are so obviously misguided, and she is so clearly in need of help. That said, this book presents an imaginative plot, and was an enjoyable read.more
Astonishing Splashes of Colour shows how one woman, Kitty, deals with loss and her mysterious childhood built from lies. Morral continuously relates life to colors. At times I'd stop and think "oh, that was a clever way to describe that." In a way it pulled me away from the story rather than strengthen the story and characters. However, it didn't happen too often and I felt such sympathy for Kitty.more
I finally picked up this book, which I had been looking at for quite some time. It grabbed my attention and kept it right through to the end. It's a sad story, but not without it's warmer and lighter moments, and certainly not without hope. Morrall creates a wonderful central character who goes through a painful process of self-discovery. The book is beautifully written. As soon as I finished it, I ordered her other works.more
A great idiosyncratic narrator, marriage and family. Great book! Warm, odd, funny and optimistic at the same time. And the narration that keeps you "just informed"- not too much, and not too little- just what you need to know to keep going. And you do keep going- I had to finish it before reading anything else. I read it with a big grin on my face. Even some inevitable tragedies couldn't wipe it off my face. Reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time. A lot.more
Sublime y exquisita obra que se disfruta desde el primer capítulo. Áltamente recomendable.more
Load more
scribd