EL本棚紹介(10)Beautiful Darkness, by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]


Beautiful Darkness: the title says it all. Every page of this book is full of beautiful bright watercolor backgrounds and fairytale characters. On the other hand, the story itself takes many dark turns. Imagine The Secret World of Arrietty 『借りぐらしのアリエッティ』, where the whole family is surviving out in the wilderness. And everyone who the main character, Aurora, meets is dangerous, selfish, and willing to kill.

Part of the beauty of this book is the freedom to interpret it however you like. Is it about mental illness or trauma? Is it a story about society and human nature, like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies『蠅の王』? Or is it just a weird little fantasy story about some elf people?

Note: There are a few grotesque (グロい) pictures, so don’t read if you dislike that kind of thing.

My two cents: This is a book I will keep thinking about, and it is a (weird!) book I want to share!