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by Donna Tartt

  • ISBN: 0747573646
  • Category: Fiction
  • Author: Donna Tartt
  • Subcategory: Contemporary
  • Other formats: mobi lit lrf rtf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 2nd edition (June 6, 2005)
  • Pages: 576 pages
  • FB2 size: 1162 kb
  • EPUB size: 1550 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 451
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Books by Donna Tartt. - The Secret History.

Books by Donna Tartt. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, In. New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, In. New York, in 2002.

Whatever it was Donna Tartt came up with next, it seemed likely to be set in a place and at a time which she would .

Whatever it was Donna Tartt came up with next, it seemed likely to be set in a place and at a time which she would manage to make entirely convincing. The Little Friend takes a startling lift of conviction whenever the author lays aside her Famous Five narrative and goes instead into a sort of novelistic free-fall, describing the bruised emotions of the overlooked child. What "growing up" entailed was a swift and inexplicable dwindling of character. With distaste Harriet reflected upon how life had beaten down the adults she knew, every single grown-up. Something strangled them as they grew older, made them doubt their own powers - laziness?

The Little Friend Tartt Donna Random House (USA) . 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.

The Little Friend Tartt Donna Random House (USA) 9781400031696 Донна Тарт: Маленький друг Тартт Донна .

The Little Friend is the second novel by Donna Tartt, initially published by Alfred A. Knopf on October 22, 2002, a decade after her first novel, The Secret History. Superficially, The Little Friend is a mystery adventure, centered on a young girl, Harriet Cleve Dufresnes, living in Mississippi in the early 1970s and her implicit anxieties about the unexplained death of her brother Robin, who was killed by hanging in 1964 at the age of nine.

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The Little Friend, Tartt's second novel, was published in October 2002. Donna Tartt reads The Secret History (pages 1-9) at Salon. It is a mystery centered on a young girl living in the American South in the late 20th century. Donna Tartt reads The Little Friend at a Jackson, Mississippi bookstore (November 13, 2002).

Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American writer, the author of the novels The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013). Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. She was included in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list, compiled in 2014.

But tonight on the counter were only some leftovers that she wanted to get rid of: ancient ham slices, pale and slimy from sitting around wrapped in plastic; also some cold mashed potatoes as furious. She opened the pantry. She opened the pantry and stared in at the too-tidy shelves, lined with dim jars of flour and sugar, dried peas and cornmeal, macaroni and rice. Harriet’s mother rarely ate more than a few spoonfuls of food in the evenings and many nights she was happy with a dish of ice cream or a handful of soda crackers.

Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her brother Robin twelve years earlier, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini, and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Hely to find Robin's murderer and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.
Reviews about The Little Friend (7):
Had I paid any attention to the reviews at either Goodreads or Amazon, I might have been dissuaded from reading The Little Friend by those who didn't like the book, calling it "boring", "too long", "bad ending". That would have been a sad thing, because I'm putting it in that Difficult-to-Get-Into club of mine called "One of the Best Books I've Ever Read". It's very hard for me to see this as anything less than a 5-star book, so let me try to convince you readers who are contemplating reading it but are on the fence because of the book's detractors. However, let me temper that with a caution to those who want a quick read, a tied-up-in-a-bow ending, or who aren't willing to get deep into a character and the character's milieu---if you are one of those, go with a John Grisham. The paperback edition I read was a hefty 624-pages, and I savored every one of them.

The editor's description of The Little Friend (TLF) will lead you to believe that this is a murder mystery, and perhaps that's why some readers are ticked off that it lacks the typical and expected structure of a murder mystery. In fact, that's likely what enticed me to buy it. But while TLF does, indeed, begin with a mystery---the 12-year old, unsolved murder of the brother of the main character, Harriet. The mystery is also the impetus for the quest that is the book's focus. But the mystery is simply the background and jumping off place. This is really a story about Harriet, one of the most compelling characters I've ever encountered; the town where the story takes place (Alexandria, Mississippi); and the recently desegregated and deeply racist social climate in which the action occurs.

Harriet was a baby when her brother, Robin, is murdered. When we meet her 12 years later, she's like an urchin from a Dickens' story. If it were not for the inconsistent and eclectic parenting she receives from the family's African-American housekeeper, her stern and cold grandmother, and a gaggle of great-aunts, Harriet would be just a step away from being raised by wolves. Her mother has been in a drug-induced slumber since the day of the murder, and her father lives in Nashville and only visits on holidays.

Harriet is an old soul. She's intelligent, indomitable, opinionated, delightfully odd, and very well-read. The tales of Kipling, Stevenson, Doyle, and those of true-life adventurers fuel her imagination. A summer without the structure and diversion of school, and the general lack of parental supervision the children receive, provide a fertile ground in which Harriet and her devoted acolyte, Hely, set out to find Robin's killer. But, again, though it's an important one, this "detecting" is simply the backstory.

TLF's prologue is one of the best I've ever read. It begins: "For the rest of her life, Charlotte Cleve would blame herself for her son's death because she had decided to have the Mother's Day dinner at six in the evening instead of noon, which is when the Cleves usually had it." Its 15 pages concisely and brilliantly provide us with everything we need to know to prepare us for the rest of the story. We clearly understand the family dynamics and a bit of its history. We meet many of the characters and, in very few words, we learn a lot about each one of them. We know the horrific event that forever after alters the family and sets in motion its disintegration. But from that point forward, each subsequent chapter is minutely detailed. Many readers found that maddening, but others, like me, loved and appreciated those details. I found myself rereading passages to savor them, and noticing now beautifully crafted and essential all those lovely words were.

One of the things that I found the most amazing was how well Tartt captured the time and place: the casual and cruel racism, the decaying town, the cadence and sound of the voices across the spectrum of social classes; and the thinking of the children: their fertile imaginations, their terrible decisions, the pains they must endure at the hands of the careless and unthinking adults who rule their worlds. My early childhood was spent in a small Missouri town in the 1950s, and Tartt's descriptions brought back the sights, sounds, and feelings (both physical and emotional) of that time and place.

Other reviewers have compared TLF to To Kill a Mockingbird and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I was also making those comparisons. But to be clear, TLF by no means mimics those books---it holds its own and is unique in its voice, but it shares the keen sense of place and the uncanny understanding of the characters' interior lives that those other books have.

Many reviewers complained about the book's ending. I'm trying not to spoil it for readers by what I'm going to say next, so if you are even a tad concerned about that, stop reading this review now. The ending is not all tied up in a bow, with the author going over clues we should have picked up on, and detailing for us why the killer did what he/she did. If you are expecting such an ending, this book won't deliver. But I contend that Tartt wrote the perfect ending for this particular book. It's is purposefully and carefully written, and A Little Friend would be a completely different book with anything but the ending Tartt gives us. I believe that the Prologue and ending are a pair of perfectly matched bookends.

I loved this book and highly recommend it for people who want beautifully written prose and a whopping good story. I'm in awe of Donna Tartt's talent and insight into the human spirit, and immensely glad I found her. I'm reading Tartt's The Secret History next.
Best West
I have just read this novel for the second time. The first time I read it, it was shocking, scary and heart-breaking. I came back to it for a second, more deliberative reading, after hearing a book reviewer say that 'Wuthering Heights' was the most important novel of the 19th century - and perhaps of all time, and my immediate reaction was that I could think of many novels that were more important for the 20th - 21st centuries. 'The Little Friend' is, in my opinion, a seriously important novel. Not room here to discuss in detail, but a few pointers. A story of the South, set mainly in around 1980 (as far as I could date it), looking back through the generations to the building of the Cleve family home, Tribulation House, where Judge Cleve died leaving four daughters in the late 1960s, and the final ruin of the old home. His great-grand-daughter, Harriet, was a baby when her brother was found hanging from a tree in the yard, as the family were about to sit down for a Mothers Day supper, twelve years earlier, and that unsolved mystery, and the after-effects of Robin's death loom very largely in the family, and he is not forgotten in the town. At the same time, there is another family, the Ratliffs - the grandmother can remember working in the cotton fields near Tribulation House - and their life is contrasted with that of the Cleves. Farish Ratcliff is more vivid than Dickens's Bill Sykes, in my opinion. And there are the servants - Ida is a key character, providing not only domestic labour for a pittance, but giving shape to Harriet's days, while her mother, still trapped in a drugged, grieving half-life, can wake to a complete confusion of night and day.

The author seems to lightly drop allusions into her writing - black birds, sometimes crows, feature regularly, so that I had old tunes 'sing a song of blackbirds ...' for one, in the back of my mind - maybe you'll make more out of it than I could, but I think her main concern is the damage done to people, especially children, by circumstances beyond their control (and I thought of Dickens often in this, apart from her earlier novel 'The Greenfinch'). But in the end, in spite of the painful, scary and shocking aspects of this book, I sensed some optimism: no happy-ever-after ending, but possibilities. No firm solutions, or resolutions, but glimmerings of hope that some aspects of all these lives might change for the better.

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