Book review – Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful by Deborah Kay Davies

grace-tamar-and-laszlo-the-beautiful coverRediscovering the darkly poetic wilderness of Deborah Kay Davies’ writing in Reasons She Goes to the Woods drew me to reread the book that first brought her to my attention, Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful.

This sharply envisioned series of interlinked fables is less about loyalty and sweetness of siblings than the darkness of this enforced friendship, focusing on the venom that bubbles between two sisters.

It’s no surprise that the book won the 2009 Wales Book of the Year award. Scenes are vividly painted, sometimes almost too brightly to look at directly, and as readers we race along with the narrative, terrified and charmed at time, but most often disturbed to the core.

Deborah is acutely observant, using colours, sounds and unexpected imagery to depict the oddities and frailty of human emotion. And as you get deeper into the collection, the two sisters get older, alter and present different sides of their personalities. Continue reading