A Musing: The Little Friend

Mar 06, 2004; Toronto, ON, Canada; American author Donna Tartt has written a book called The Little Friend about the murder of a child in mississippi. for interview with marchand.

Wow. I loved it. I love, love, loved it! I can’t believe how much I loved it.

It’s about the South of a few decades ago, and a century ago — race and class, the most beautiful and deeply ugly — she explores it all, unflinchingly. About growing up (or not). About stories, especially children’s. About sadness, and decay, and trying to make a life around these brutal facts. It’s also a postmodern detective story extraordinaire.

Her main character works. Remember what I said about The Secret History — how Richard Papen felt like Donna Tartt? Harriet does too. A tiny, furious Donna Tartt, and I believed every second of it. I found all of the characters well-drawn (and wonderful, and scary, and hysterical, and absurd, and…). How brilliant was the character of Gum? O-M-G.

This is one suspenseful book. Despite having tons of work-work and school-work I devoured these 640 pages in a week. It’s also (darkly) funny — if you’ve lived close to grandmothers and aunts, you will find Edie and her sisters irresistible.ย  It will also make you catch your laugh mid-utterance as waves of horror come over you. Tartt is extravagant with her language, situations, and ideas. Maybe she goes too far for some people, but I though it was original and pitch-perfect.

Kudos, Donna Tartt! You wrote a damn fine book, and I CAN NOT WAIT TO READ THE GOLDFINCH!

P.S. – Donna, I think you are beautiful!

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4 comments

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Isn’t it funny how we all respond so differently to books? I *loved* The Secret History when it first came out, but was underwhelmed by The Little Friend. Now you’ve made me think I should revisit it!

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