The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 12 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The second novel by Donna Tartt,  bestselling author of The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize),  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.
 

About Donna Tartt

See more books from this Author
Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and is a graduate of Bennington College. She is the author of the novels The Secret History and The Little Friend, which have been translated into thirty languages.
 
Published October 19, 2011 by Vintage. 642 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Little Friend

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Tartt whips up a townful of vivid eccentrics (prominent among them are the Dufresnes girls’ four unmarried great-aunts, from whom Harriet solicits details about their family’s hushed-up history), creating a rich backdrop against which Harriet and her partner in intrigue, an ingenuous boy named He...

| Read Full Review of The Little Friend

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt Bloomsbury £16.99, pp565 On Mothers' Day, in the early 1960s, in the fictional town of Alexandra, Mississippi, a nine-year-old boy is found hanging from the branch of a black tupelo tree in his parents' garden.

Oct 27 2002 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt 555pp, Bloomsbury, £16.99 The appearance of Donna Tartt's second novel has been an event rather than just a publication.

Oct 26 2002 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Widely anticipated over the decade since her debut in The Secret History, Tartt's second novel confirms her talent as a superb storyteller, sophisticated observer of human nature and keen appraiser of ethics and morality.

| Read Full Review of The Little Friend

Book Reporter

part murder mystery, part coming of age tale, part a child's story, part a story of loyalty and friendship, part an interlocutory on the American justice system, part a study in southern culture and mores, part a commentary on the little ways families chip away at themselves, especially in the fa...

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

Entertainment Weekly

In laying out the history of an Alexandria, Miss., family called the Cleves, Tartt gives the brood such a gothic relationship with the past that Harriet, our 12-year-old heroine, recognizes a light in an old photograph that is ''fractured, sentimental, incandescent with disaster'' and, moreover, ...

Nov 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

PopMatters

From her East Coast novel to this gothic Southern tale, though, there is a certain mystery around femininity that involves china teacups, cigarettes, old-fashioned perfume and a glamorous Sunset Boulevard sort of decay, as she describes Allison (only sixteen): “Her voice was soft, her manner lang...

Mar 12 2003 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

London Review of Books

If you are using the site for the first time please register here If you would like access to all 12,000 articles subscribe here Institutions or university library users please login here Learn more about our institutional subscriptions here A downloadable PDF version of this book review is...

| Read Full Review of The Little Friend

The Sunday Times

THE LITTLE FRIEND by Donna Tartt (Bloomsbury £16.99 pp559) It is a decade since Donna Tartt burst onto the world’s literary scene with her debut novel, The Secret History, a compelling blend of murder mystery and coming-of-age story that became a bestseller in most of the 20-odd countries in whic...

Oct 27 2002 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

http://theblurb.com.au

And yes there are some problems with the novel, sometimes I lost track of where I was, and the central mystery remains unresolved - which is a bit annoying especially if you’ve grown up with a collection of Agatha Christie novels - but then, ...

| Read Full Review of The Little Friend

The Oxonian Review

When Charlotte proposes to fire Ida Rhew Brownlee, the girls’ housekeeper and surrogate mother, young Harriet comes to terms with Ida’s departure too late: For the rest of her life, Harriet would remember with a wince that she hadn’t been brave enough to stay for one last afternoon – the very ...

Jun 15 2003 | Read Full Review of The Little Friend

Curtis Brown

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.

| Read Full Review of The Little Friend

Reader Rating for The Little Friend
51%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1082 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Brian Lee Kloosterman Jr. 17 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

User Review

Jerry Balzano 8 Oct 2014

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

×