Bella y oscura / Beautiful and Dark
Novel , 1993
Combining elements of the real and the fantastic, Beautiful and Dark (Bella y oscura) is written from the perspective of Baba, an orphaned girl taken to live with relatives in a neighborhood called El Barrio. Trying to cope with the mystery and violence of the adult world around her, she is drawn to the Lilliputian Airelei, who fascinates Baba with her fantastic tales that mix myth and memory.
"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
"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