No. Pages: 555
Harriet is 12 years old and lives in a family shaken up by the murder of her brother, Robin, when she was just a baby. She lives with her older sister and mother, who still struggles with her son’s death. Harriet and her friend Hely decide to find out who Robin’s murderer is and punish them as revenge.
Firstly, and most importantly, do not read this book thinking that it is a mystery novel. It is not and I was left feeling mildly disappointed once I finished this book because of this. The story does not tell of how the crime is solved, but of how a twelve year old girl copes with the world around her. Once I realised that this is the purpose of the story, I began to appreciate it a lot more.
This is the second Donna Tartt book that I have read and I have so much praise for The Goldfinch. However, this time the lengthy and sometimes unnecessary level of description felt like the story was dragging in places especially as this book is quite long anyway.
However, the huge amount of description and background information does help provide very good characterisation with each individual having their own distinct personalities. The setting of the book is also very vivid with a gothic feel to it showing that Tartt’s flowery language is not all bad.
As well as this, there is always something happening. A lot of events occur which moves the plot forward although these events are not all ‘big’ and groundbreaking. This adds to the realism and maintained my interest to see how Harriet reacted to these changes especially since she is a very colourful character living with a far more bland family.
Overall, I enjoyed The Little Friend and would definitely recommend it, but I wasn’t blown away by it. I’m keen to read Tartt’s The Secret History some point soon.
Have you read The Little Friend? What did you think of it? 🙂