The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Published by Bloomsbury
Published 22 October 2002
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
The hugely anticipated new novel by the author of The Secret History—a best-seller nationwide and around the world, and one of the most astonishing debuts in recent times—The Little Friend is even more transfixing and resonant.
In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who—when she was only a baby—was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family, in the years since, recovered from the tragedy.
For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard stories about or glimpsed in photograph albums. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her twelve years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet’s sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child’s play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing.
A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice. A novel of breath-taking ambition and power, it is rich in moral paradox, insights into human frailty, and storytelling brilliance.
For the rest of her life, Charlotte Cleve would blame herself for her son’s death because she had decided to have the Mother’s Day dinner at six in the evening instead of noon, after church, which is when the Cleves usually had it.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is the only second book I’ve read by the author. I adored The Secret History.
I really enjoyed The Little Friend. This is not quite the book I was expecting, which judging by the blurb I expected the book to be a gothic murder mystery, but it’s still a great read. Donna Tartt knows how to write and her prose is beautiful, rich and vivid. Her writing contains lots of rich detail which bring the characters and setting to brilliant life. The Little Friend gets quite dark towards the end. This novel is very gripping and I was hooked from start to finish. I noticed there are a lot of reviews on Good Reads slating the book because nothing happens. I found the opposite, plenty happens though the events don’t focus solely on Harriet trying to find out what really happened to her brother.