Sunday, 6 March 2011

"Astonishing Splashes of Colour" by Claire Morrall

Shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize and published by the Tindal Street Press, a small independent company based in Birmingham which also published the 2008 Costa winner, "What Was Lost" by Catherine O'Flynn.  (The latter a simply amazing book about which I noted in my book diary "Best book I've read for years - comparable with JD Salinger".)  Claire Morrall is not quite so good, but clearly in the same vein.  The book is original, local (set in Birmingham), very easy to read, looks into a  dysfunctional but very lovable loner's private inner life, and has an unhappy ending.

This is perfect entertainment reading.  You feel very strongly for the central character, and will forgive her anything, (including snatching a new-born baby, and abducting a child) because of her unhappiness and sensitivity.  There are some major plot surprises, too. 

The author has since written a novel about a female sufferer from Asperger's syndrome.  I will look out for that. 

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