Wednesday, 28 March 2007


AUTHOR: Clare Morrall


DATE READ: March 2007

NOTES: I came to this book with false expectations – I had expected it to be more literary and to deal seriously with issues. Oh dear, quite a disappointment! The story dealt with a dysfunctional family par excellence. Unfortunately all the main characters were seriously damaged but their problems are not offset with humour or lightheartedness (as in I Capture the Castle or any of Kate Atkinson’s books). I was really interested in how she approached synaesthesia (a condition in which emotions are seen as colours) but she seemed to quickly lose interest in this and it was never really developed as an idea.

The book has a great opening and the episode of taking her nieces to the theatre was beautifully told. I liked the local setting of Birmingham and the references to Peter Pan. However the central character Kitty is extremely irritating and I found it hard to sympathise with her despite the fact she had a) lost a baby and was now unable to have any more children b) been raised in a motherless family c) had a really unpleasant father d) had an older sister Dinah who had disappeared at the age of 15.

Halfway through it all became a bit predictable. Yes, we knew the mother would reappear and that Kitty was probably turn out to be Dinah’s child. Sorry, but I just didn’t believe that so many secrets would remain untold for so long.

There is some lovely writing in this first novel but it really didn’t (for me) live up to the rave reviews.

But we had a great discussion at our reading group about it!

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