By Rosa Montero
Translated by Adrienne Mitchell
Combining elements of the real and the fantastic, Beautiful and Dark (Bella y oscura) is written from the perspective of an orphaned girl taken to live with relatives in a derelict neighborhood at the edge of a city. Trying to cope with the mystery and violence of the adult world around her, she is drawn to the Lilliputian Airelei, who fascinates her with fantastic tales that mix myth and memory.
Beautiful and Dark…is a dramatization of the painful innocence of childhood when confronting the adult world, of the position of women, of love, of death, and of writing itself—the Beautiful and Dark writing that Rosa Montero has invented with intense and entertaining effectiveness in order to be loyal to her truth.
—Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia
Beautiful and Dark synthesizes the mixture that comprises the book well—a mixture of sordid social realism, existentialist orientation, and the mysterious, magical terror that depicts the unknown from the mythifying, childish perspective of a girl, whose experiences are a metaphor for unfulfilled desires.
—J.L. Martín Nogales, El Diario Vasco
In her most thoughtful novel to date, Rosa Montero brilliantly combines intrigue and imagination with personal insight into human nature.
—Javier Escudero, World Literature in Review