The Lauras

A Novel

Publisher: Bond Street Books
From critically acclaimed and Baileys Prize-nominated author Sara Taylor comes a dazzling new novel about youth, identity and family secrets.

I didn't realize my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong.

     As we made our way across North America, returning to the places where she'd lived as a kid in foster care and as a teenager on the run, repaying debts and keeping promises, I learned who she was in her life-before-me and the secrets she had kept--even from herself. But when life on the road began to feel normal I couldn't forget the home we'd left behind, couldn't deny that, just like my mother, I too had unfinished business.
     The Lauras is an extraordinary, propulsive story and a stunning exploration of the relationship between a mother and a child. From the green foothills of Tennessee to the swamps of Mississippi, and the bright lights of Las Vegas to the forests of Vancouver Island, this novel is absorbing and intimate, told by a significant voice in literary fiction.


A Guardian Best Book of 2016

"The writer's clear-eyed, honest portrayal of the nuances of sexuality in general is striking. She demonstrates the relationship between our mind and our bodies, our desires bound up with ancient memories and triggers. . . . This book describes the lifestyles and realities of those at the bottom of the economic pile with great empathy, giving complexity and dignity to those often ignored or caricatured." —New York Journal of Books

"If road trips transport you, jump into Sara Taylor's dazzling novel The Lauras, about a mother and gender-fluid child discovering each other." —Elle

"Alex's ambiguous, aching forays into the realms of sexuality and human relations speak to universal truths about trust as well as lust. . . . Taylor gives her narrator a singular voice and dares the world to listen." —Kirkus Reviews

"Taylor packs vastly observed stories of mothers, children and memory into her impressive second novel." —Booklist

"Sara Taylor's The Lauras just persuaded me even more that Taylor is a writer of real gravitas and potency. It feels, to read her, uncannya bit reminiscent of reading early Atwood three decades ago. She's a writer whose talent, a fusion of sure-footed, calm and uncompromising, is both quiet and prodigious." Ali Smith

"Elegiac and beautifully observed. . . . Taylor has a great ear for language, with the kind of sentences that make you pause and read a second time. . . . It is such acute observations of her imaginary world that saw Taylor's debut novel, The Shore, longlisted for the Baileys prize, and it should be no great surprise to find her second novel following in its footsteps." Hannah Beckerman, The Observer (UK)

"Taylor's sense of place is one of her greatest strengths. She writes about versions of America that few outsiders ever see. . . . The Lauras is a road movie of a novel. . . . A fine achievement, engrossing, original and eloquent, and Taylor has more than fulfilled the promise of The Shore." —Helen Dunmore, The Guardian (UK)

"Exceptionally moving. . . . Taylor’s prose is remarkable; both intense and expansive, both precise and wonderfully sfumato. . . . A joy." —The Scotsman (UK)

"Sara Taylor is a writer with a strong sense of place … [The Lauras is] a work that looks to combine the epic sweep of America with an intimate study of a mother and her child. . . . The journey Taylor takes us on is often assured, interesting and full of poise." —Sunday Times (UK)

"A beautiful, irreverent meditation of self, sexuality and growing up. On each stop of the trip is a woman named Laura. Each has played a part in Alex's mother's fractured past, and together they reveal how many people we sometimes need to make a love story." Heather O'Neill