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Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kay Davies

Reasons She Goes to the Woods

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A sometimes uncomfortable yet utterly compelling read that shreds and shatters conventional thought processes and feelings. The surprise when you open the book and start to read is your first hint of the distinctive tale to come. The author builds the story simply, slowly, sympathetically: the suggestions, the explorations, the forbidden, the twisted, all shaping and piecing together into something penetrating and provocative. As your mind starts to grasp the emerging picture, it buckles and contorts… will you ever fully understand? ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Deborah Kay Davies you might also like to read books by Louise Welsh, Helen Fitzgerald and Simon Lelic.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Val Rowe - 'A unique, powerful, compelling and emotive read that will feature on my list of favourite books...I have never read a book quite like this and it will be etched in my memory forever.'  Read full review >
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'I loved this book, for me it is a five star!'  Read full review >
  • Rachel Aygin - 'I thought I might not enjoy the book due to its unusual format but I was wrong and found myself drawn in to a read that was uncomfortable but strangely compelling.' Read full review >
  • Nicola Lowes - 'This is a very readable and exquisitely written book about a girl growing up in an unstable environment.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Whish - 'This is a wonderfully original, clever book. Told in snapshots, we follow the young protagonist, Pearl through a series of episodes as she grows into adolescence. Beautifully pitch perfect writing.' Read full review >
  • Sharon Lowe - 'I thoroughly enjoyed this book, easy to read, but you won't put it down until you finish. Sometimes sad , sometimes funny, you can see Pearl develop through the story...' Read full review >
  • Megan Williams - 'A biting, thought-provoking account of a young girl and her troubled path into adulthood...Kay Davies in my view has a unique talent and writes with a beauty that is razor-sharp and painful in places.' Read full review >
  • Daran Bellingham - 'An unusual book that tells a young girls childhood years in one page chapters.' Read full review >
  • Cathy Burman - 'Pearl will amuse you, she will endear herself to you, she will shock you and she will disgust you...I dare you to read it! I loved it.' Read full review >
  • Lynne Morgan - 'Wow, what an amazing story, made all the more powerful by being told from a child’s point of can’t help but leave a lasting impression!' Read full review >
  • Charlotte Connolly - 'I'm very glad I read it as despite the subject matter I found the story very engaging, I recommend you to read for yourself and form your own opinion.' Read full review >
  • Sue Muir - 'I really enjoyed this book although it is very disturbing and particularly grim in parts.  It is however extremely well written and thought out.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Halliday - 'This is an interesting book and unforgettable novel – and one which makes me look forward to seeing what the author tackles next.' Read full review >
  • Alison Greenacre - 'A sparsely told dark story.  Not for everyone but an interesting read none the less.' Read full review >


Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kay Davies

Pearl can be very, very good. More often she is very, very bad. But she's just a child, a mystery to all who know her. A little girl who has her own secret reasons for escaping to the nearby woods. What might those reasons be? And how can she feel so at home in the dark, sinister, sensual woods, a wonder of secrets and mystery?


Praise for True Things About Me 'In this wallop of a little novel ... Ms. Davies writes with such spunk that you stay with her for much of the ride
New York Times

'Brutal, funny ... One of those rare novels that is genuinely about sex, in all its irrationality and potential for self-destruction'
Lionel Shriver

'Outstanding... With black humour and heartrending accuracy. Davies is a poet, and this is a poet's novel in the very best sense - every word is pin-sharp and perfectly in its place'
The Times

'A rounded, complex portrait of growing-up that has an atmosphere all of its own'
We Love This Book

'Exquisite... to be marvelled at.'
The Guardian

'A spiky echo of Angela Carter, with whom Ms Davies at her best stands fair comparison... The language is fresh, the imagery striking... and Pearl herself is a rampant, compelling, fully-realised, wild-eyed, teary creation.'
The Scotsman

'A sexy, contrary book... also a story concerned with morality. The most sustained and challenging aspect of the narrative is its insistence about what a little girl is like'

'A poetic and strange novel, full of flair'
Emerald Street

About the Author

Deborah Kay Davies

Deborah Kay Davies won the Wales Book of the Year 2009 award with her first work of fiction, the short story collection Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful. When her debut novel, True Things About Me, came out in 2010, she was selected by BBC TV as one of the 12 best new British novelists. And when the novel was published in New York in 2011, Lionel Shriver chose it as her personal book of the year. She lives in Cardiff.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2014


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Oneworld Publications


256 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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