The Little Friend
The second novel by the bestselling author of The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt's The Little Friend is a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil.
The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, 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 Louis 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. Filled with hairpin turns of plot and “a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens” (The New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"This extraordinary book [has] a main character, a twelve-year-old girl named Harriet Cleve Dufresnes, who ranks up there with Huck Finn, Miss Havisham, Quentin Compson, and Philip Marlowe, fictional characters who don't seem in the least fictional . . . If To Kill a Mockingbird is the childhood that everyone wanted and no one really had, The Little Friend is childhood as it is, by turns enchanting and terrifying."
--Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
"Breathtaking . . . A sublime tale rich in religious overtones, moral ambiguities, and violent, poetic acts . . . From its darkly enticing opening, we are held spellbound." --Lisa Shea, Elle
"Readers are easily swept up in [a] darkly comic novel that . . . broadens to examine Southern racial and social strata, religious and generational eccentricities, and the passion of youth that gives way to the ambivalence of age. At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, The Little Friend is most surprising when it is edge-of-your-seat scary." --Dennis Moore, USA Today
"A sprawling story of vengeance, told in a rich, controlled voice . . . Tartt has written a grownup book that captures the dark, Lord of the Flies side of childhood and classic children's literature."
--James Poniewozik, Time
From the Hardcover edition.