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".
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.