“I wonder if my audience has already judged me guilty. Because I am the mother. Because I should have known. Because I must have known. And I wonder if it will matter what I say, or how I say it, or if I say anything at all. I begin to wish I hadn’t admitted I had a story to tell, and I feel the urge to slip through the crack under the door, to fade back into the darkness.”
The Colour of Walls is a remarkable first novel – at times gruelling, at times very funny, written with immense emotional and literary poise, but ultimately a book which faces its subject matter squarely, and without squeamishness or evasion.
“Janet Kelly’s The Colour of Walls is a novel of incest and a woman who takes responsibility for her family through barely imaginable injustice and adversity… It describes the aftermath of domestic catastrophe especially movingly. There is no wholly secure space after this level of destruction. There can only be an awareness of the need for modest daily constructive acts, especially acts of creativity.” – Brenda Walker.