Eleven-year-old Billy’s mother has just died. Billy’s father isn’t coping too well so Billy goes to stay with his dull Auntie Mary. The death of his mother has taken all the colour away from Billy’s world.
He sees his Auntie Mary as a grey person, whose dull blue house is shrouded in fog. Billy feels foggy and dull, too, and longs for the colour to return to his life. His mother was a well-known surfer – Kitten Brown – and the author has woven into this novel the buzzing vibes of the surfing world. Waves, movement, colour, VW combis, Cornwall, surfing songs – described through Billy’s dreams as he sleeps away his grief. For though Billy’s mother is dead, her joyful personality pervades the whole story as Billy, Auntie Mary and Billy’s dad all attempt to deal with their grief. The author confronts the themes of loss and change in a most vibrant and original way. Her writing is sensual – colour, taste, smell, touch and sound all leap from the page. She shows how different people handle loss and change differently, and how they learn to relate to each other in new ways.