Although Tartt has a gift for writing and a gift for creating likeable and intelligent characters (Harriet, Ida Rhew, etc.), the plot didn't grab me until about 400 pages in. The climax occurred, but there was no resolution of which to speak. This novel was a disappointment in many ways.
Really? A novel based on an unsolved crime, that after 600 pages never tells who did it? If you're looking to be really pissed of at the end of a long book, search no more,this is it. On the other hand it's very well written. Total waste of superb skills.
I have to be honest, I could not finish this book. The characters were interesting, but nothing happened in the plot! After about 250 pages, I gave up. You might enjoy her first book, "A Secret History" more.
I loved this writer's "A Secret History". However, "The Little Friend" was disappointing. It was at least one third too long, full of filler, and badly in need of editing. Most of the characters were stereotypes of the southern middle and poor white South.The brave, feisty, smart little girl has appeared in dozens of novels. I missed the originality of the first book. The reader was led to believe that Harriet was obsessed with solving the murder of her older brother, Robin. After myriad hair raising misadventures, the book ends with the reader no wiser. Will the mystery be solved in a sequel?
In parts of this book, I realized I was actually holding my breath, it was so suspenseful. It's an intriguing, at times dark, story line that keeps you wanting more. As intricate a story as her first novel, The Secret History, and again with unique three-dimensional characters. I highly recommend this book; it will suck you in and take you into a fascinating world for 300 pages.
Andrea H. reviewed The Little Friend (The Little Friend) on
Helpful Score: 2
The story itself was captivating, the characters interesting, but as is my experience with her other books it started much stronger than it finished. This time I was actually quite disappointed with the ending. Not sure if it's worth the read.
I expected more of this book. It leads one to believe there is a mystery to be solved, but the book is about a kid's life in a Mississippi town in the 70s. It is very long and really drags on in many places. I read to the end only to find what happened to the brother and who was responsible, but it just ends with none of these questions answered. A huge disappointment.
I did not like this book. It left me with the feeling that nothing put forth in the plot was resolved - the book merely ended on a sour note. I felt cheated! Her other book (Secret History) was much, much better.
A strange tale that starts out like a murder mystery, but ends up in self discovery. It has a hillbilly, backward feeling set in today's world of methlabs almost next door to middle-class neighborhoods.
Although the Cleves generally revelled in every detail of their family history, the events of 'the terrible Mother's Day' were never, ever discussed. On that day, nine-year-old Robin Cleves, loved by all for his whims and peculiarities, was found hanging by the neck from a rope slung over a black-tupelo tree in his own garden. Eleven years later, the mystery - with its taunting traces of foul play - was no nearer a solution than it had been on the day it happened. This isn't good enough for Robin's youngest sister Harriet. Only a baby when the tragedy occurred, but now twelve years old and steeped in the adventurous daring of favourite writers such as Stevenson, Kipling and Conan Doyle, Harriet is ready and eager to find and punish her brother's killer. Her closest friend Hely - who would try anything to make Harriet love him - has sworn allegiance to her call for revenge. But the world these plucky twelve-year-olds are to encounter has nothing to do with child's play: it is dark, adult and all too menacing. In Donna Tartt's Mississippi, the sense of place and sense of the past mingle redolently with rich human drama to create a collective alchemy.
Here eccentric great aunts bustle about graciously despite faded fortunes and a child's inquiring mind not only unearths telling family artefacts, but stirs up a neighbourhood nest of vipers and larceny. The Little Friend is a profoundly involving novel which demonstrates how the imaginary life embraces what literature we read, what special places we inhabit and what kindred souls we recognize, to help crack open even the darkest secrets life has hiding for us.
I would read & recommend any book written by Donna Tartt; she is a true talent, one of the most impressive American writers on the scene today. I'm simply amazed at her ability to invoke the atmosphere of such different geographical regions of our great country as California, Vermont, and Mississippi -- each with love and insight.
apachesun reviewed The Little Friend (The Little Friend) on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was a great book. It wasn't quite up to the caliber of The Secret History, her previous book but i would give it 4 stars. I was absorbed as soon as I opened the book. A mystery that will keep you on edge and envelope you in its strange pull.
The writing is beautiful. If you aren't a southerner, you will quickly get the feel of the place just from Tartt's descriptive passages. The characters, especially our heroine, a pre-teen girl obsessed with what may be the murder of her brother when he was 9 yrs old, are sharply drawn. Each of the old aunts, who initially seem to be just little old ladies, become their very own character with gripping life stories. I read 616 pages breathless to see what would eventually play out. She is quite an adventurous child, willful and quick-witted, and some life-changing events take place as she begins to grow up. But - at page 617 - we begin to resolve things. And I won't spoil the story other to say that 'resolving things' must mean something different to the author than it does to me.
In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dufresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who - when she was only a baby - was found hanging dead from a .. tree in their yard. Now tweleve, and fiercely determined, she resolves one summer to solve the murder nd exact her revenge. What she and her friend Hely encounter has nothing to do with child's play. It explores crime and punishment.
The setting is Alexandria, MI, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin's sister Harriet- unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Luis Stevenson- sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town's rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family's history of loss.