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Reasons She Goes to the Woods

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  119 reviews
An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here

Pearl can be very, very good. More often she is very, very bad. But shes 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
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by Oneworld Publications
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Betsy Robinson
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the first page (which is also the first chapter; chapters are one page), you know that Reasons She Goes to the Woods is not safe writing. This is the story of a child named Pearl who seems sociopathicall the more upsetting due to the simple, yet gorgeous poetic narrative of actions, such as putting her infant baby brother (The Blob) at the top of the stairs and watching him tumble down. This is a physically and emotionally violent story of being crazy and beholden to a crazy situation. If ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Children are creepy. They exist in a dimension we once lurked in but its been so long its hard to imagine it. We grew out of it. Most of us do. Reality forces its way into our lives and thats that. Unless youre Pearl but then Pearls not normal. Theres a cruel streak to Pearl. And a selfish one. And, surprisingly for any child, a patient one. But then she is a sociopath with a raging Electra complex that refuses to die a natural death. I use both terms loosely. Others have called her a ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
I am so glad that I finally got a chance to pick this one up and read it becuase it's the first book in a long time where I have just sat and read the whole thing in one sitting. This is definitely not going to be a book for everyone as it is twisted and dark and filled with sinister thoughts and a young girl. Basically all the dark images that come to mind when I say those things are probably covered within this.

I have to say that Deborah Kay Davies has extraordinary talent with words and the
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Review coming... If I can get out of holiday mode..

a stunning evocation of childhood, warts and all, well of one childhood Pearl, a girl whose mischief spills over into disturbing areas, such as commanding all her friends to strip and be whipped at whim, or her treatment of her much younger brother who she calls The Blob:
Hes pushing a toy car around.. these bits are the roads, he tells Pearl. Who cares about the stupid roads? Pearl says in fact who cares about you at all? She asks him putting
Eric Anderson
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's admirable when a novel sets out its own rules forming a unique rigid structure to convey a story. Rather than limiting the narrative, this can give the author freedom to drive through her meaning and create a rhythm to the story which gives the reader a comforting sense of being held by an authoritative voice. It's something I love so much about the monumental achievement that is Virginia Woolf's The Waves - a book that invokes six characters' interior poetic voices throughout the course of ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I managed to get about half way through this, but have now given up. I just can't get into it. It is beautifully written. Definitely weird and somewhat dark. But the story just isn't flowing enough for me to feel gripped by it.
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bieiris
3.5 stars

The cruelty of childhood. In page-long vignettes, this book describes the life of a girl from a very young age to well into adolescence. It is beautifully written. At first I was reminded of Weathering by Lucy Wood, and not just because of the girl's name (Pearl).

Pearl's mother is mentally ill and it becomes progressively plausible that Pearl is afflicted as well, because her behaviour is at times very disturbing. Her dad, whom she adores, is ineffectual.

The book is short, but it packs
Noelia Alonso
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Reasons She Goes to the Woods was one hell of a ride. The writing style was so incredibly beautiful and evocative and it's what made the story so impressive for me.
It's not for everybody, that's for sure, but it's such a worthy read
Margaret Bamford
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this novel quite disturbing as it was about a very disturbed young girl who had very cruel tendencies towards everyone except her Father. The style of writing was poetic which made the novel even more unusual.
Sue Lang
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Open minded adults
Recommended to Sue by: Library choice
I was drawn to this book by the cover. May seem slightly shallow. When I started reading it I initially thought "I won't read all this it is too much "!!! I read it in 2 days, the way the pages are written on every other one leads you to want to read more, or so I found. The main character, a young girl, mind works and reacts to those around her shockingly at times.

It is the story of Pearl a violent, mixed up girl, who has to have her own way. She has designs for life and if they do not turn
Sally Whitehead
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing

As I started reading I kept finding myself thinking "This is the the sort of book I wish I could write", and the title of Davies' earlier novel "True Things About Me" sounded familiar.

Lo and behold I checked my Goodreads page, and I read it back in 2011. My opening line of that review was "The sort of book I wish I could write"...hmmm, Deborah Kay Davies is GOOD.

An incredibly powerful read (which benefits from being devoured in a couple of intense sittings)this is the story of Pearl, a
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Haunting, deliciously disturbing, creepy and beautifully written. I have just finished this sitting on the window sill, crisply autumn with a pink, mottled sky. It felt so right. I am toying with giving this a five star but I will give it some reflection.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, july-2017
Deborah Kay Davies' Reasons She Goes to the Woods presents the utterly engrossing story of a troubled young girl named Pearl. Told in vignettes which make up a single page each, the structure fits wonderfully, and the obscuring both of time and of Pearl's age causes one to be caught up completely within her world. It is as 'nervy and lyrical' as its blurb promises, and whilst the material is often closer to the violent and harrowing than the gentle, there is so much within its pages to digest ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Slightly disturbing but excellent read.
Green Gables
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am so surprised at the number of reviews that portray Pearl as simply a "difficult child", "heroine", "willful" and even "naughty"....ummm, the girl was a straight up psychopath. This was The Bad Seed. For reals. She was a sadist that inflicted serious harm to her baby brother as well as her friends. Speaking of friends, what kind of neighborhood did she live in when girls like Fee, Honey and Nita all encouraged her madness?

With her continual blackouts, hallucinations (the skeleton girl),
Sandy Hogarth
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great quirky book. Davies imagination is quite extraordinary. Each short chapter is a title and one page of text. The protagonist, Pearl, is fatally eccentric and honest. She has a younger brother whom she calls The Blob and both mistreats but also protects, tearing a wet tufty clump of scalp from her brothers tormenter and puts the clump in her shorts pocket. It is the latter detail that is so clever.

The range of characters is endless as are Pearls actions and repartee: the boy with one
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay, given the number of good reviews this has I think I am seriously missing something. Granted the writing is beautiful, descriptive and easy to read and the main character is interesting with plenty of suggestion of depth and of something not quite right going on. But that was all it was, a suggestion. Because there is no real story line or building of characters, the book leads nowhere in particular. It does get you there fast given the formatting style but it still goes nowhere. It hints ...more
Cass Moriarty
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reasons She Goes to the Woods (Oneworld 2014) by Deborah Kay Davies is a poetic and literary marvel, a jigsaw of vignettes in the life of one girl, Pearl, that fit together to form a strange, unsettling and haunting portrait of Pearls childhood as she attempts to find her place in the world.
The structure of this novella is the first noticeable thing: each short, sharp chapter is exactly one page long, printed on each right-hand page of the book. Each chapter is a perfectly formed scene in Pearl
Christina Rochester
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Boy am I glad this one was finally over. I read a lot of reviews stating that this book is unique, and Ill definitely second that. Its unique and its creepy and its so damned hard to get into.

Pearl is a fairly normal girl; apart from a mother who is nuts and the fact that shes desperately in love with her father, yes like some backwards Oedipus Complex, and shes horrifically violent.

I wouldnt say shes consumed by the sex or violence though; its more a case of she wants to experience every
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
First time with this author and I really enjoyed this book. It was written so beautifully. It made me uncomfortable in several occasions but that was intentional and It was good too. I loved the simple style but took off a star because of the execution of time passing. Plus I'm stingy with my 5 stars.
I recommend if you like lyrical books about girls growing up that are also dark and twisting.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the strangest things I've ever read.
Rodrigo Bernardo
This was a 3.5 stars for me.
Reasons she goes to the woods has a unique structure, where every page is a "snapshot" of Pearl's life. Although the story follows an interesting structure I felt like we didn't really get to know Pearl, and she was such a twisted and strange child who I would've liked to know more about.
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Three years ago, after I read Deborah Kay Davies first novel I wrote that I was a little disorientated. That I was moved, puzzled, disturbed, asking questions, and not quite able to let go.

I could write exactly the same words about this, her second novel.

First time around she wrote of a grown woman, and this time she wrote about a girl at a very particular point in life, the point of transition from childhood to adolescence.

This is Pearls story.

It is told in 121 episodes, and every one of them
An easy 5 stars.

Not only will you fly through this beautiful and strange book, but it will haunt you and leave you perplexed and thinking about it. It is told in vignettes through Pearl's childhood and the writing is utterly stunning - almost poetic in parts.

Pearl is one odd cat. Without going into it too much, I will just say that I was, at the same time, horrified by Pearl's actions and also felt sorry for her. Her mother is mentally ill, and you aren't sure if Pearl is heading down that
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read it it one sitting, which isn't hard due to the set out of the pages and the growing sense of dread you feel while reading it that pushes you forward.
The book is about a girl named Pearl who grows up in a disfunctional family and her behaviour as a reaction to that. I felt the blurb of the book slightly miss represented Pearl as an 'evil child' or a psychopath with no reasoning, when in reading the book you see that her behaviour is clearly a reaction to her parent's
Iman Verjee
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you pick up a book and you discover magic. Creepy, dark, uncomfortable magic that makes your mind turn and your brain work and everything inside you comes alive with questions and thoughts and new ideas.

It's been a long time since I've read a book the way I read this one - holed up in my room, ignoring everyone around me for two days (it was relatively short and simply written).

Highly recommend it - it's literature that disturbs and confronts and makes you question everything.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
"You're mad, Honey cries furiously. Don't I know it, Pearl answers, and walks away"

This book was mad. Dark and twisted and confronting. It shocked me and I couldn't put it down. I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the ending. I need closure. What a strange story this was.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a very quick, interesting read and the writing was was incredibly beautiful. Although I'm not entirely sure if I enjoyed it or not, it kept my attention, and I could have easily read it one setting.
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stephanie Rens Schmidt
Beautiful writing that lulls in one sentence and horrifies in the next. Lovely vignettes punctuated by disturbing behaviors and minute revelations of a girl who isn't quite right, her strange friend Fee, doting father and mentally ill mother
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Deborah Kay Davies started writing and publishing when she was a mature student and taught Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Her first collection of stories, Grace, Tamar and Laszlo the Beautiful, won the 2009 Wales Book of the Year Award. She has also published a collection of poems, Things You Think I Dont Know. She lives in Wales. ...more

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