The Little Friend – book review

Book in Novels
Sunday, December 28, 2014 Review by Fabrizio Giulimondi
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The Little Friend – book review
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[amazon template=wishlist&asin=B005PRJT9Q]“THE LITTLE FRIEND” BY DONNA TARTT

After Donna Tartt’s two masterpieces “The Secret History” and “The Goldfinch”, this column couldn’t avoid a review of her halfway novel, “The little Friend” (BUR Rizzoli).
It is a novel about pain, an egotistic and asphyxiating pain, because no one listens to their fellow’s scream and we are all monads, pent-up in our own dark solitude.

Harriet, a 12 years old girl in mid 30’s Mississippi, tragically loses her 9 years old little brother and, together with her beautiful and amorphous sister, gets lost in her own silent drama, even when her beloved nanny, her only emotional reference, gets fired after decades of dedicated work, and even when one of her three dear aunts dies.

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Their anguish isn’t regarded as important and is almost a cause of annoyance for the people surrounding the two girls. Their mother, clouded by psychiatric drugs and an uncontrollable torment, they are but ghosts, while her harsh and sour grandmother, they represent a chance to exhibit the stupidity of an educational model that lacks sensitivity, comprehension and sweetness.

All the characters are enveloped in a dark and unrelenting isolation, where love, communication and dialogue are completely absent, and this absence is also reflected in the spaces: “then she went away across the empty, sunny and surreal garden”…”not like her house, always in dim light, where memories recalled a heavy feeling, an unpleasant trail of old clothes and dust”.

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Feelings are not genuine, since there are no parents, no families and friends, only the single characters who, no matter how evil, fail to arouse a glimmer of compassion in the reader.
And Harriet, the heroine, part sad and disenchanted damsel, part cunning criminal, within her annihilated adolescence buried in the “Absence-of-Everything”, could she be the Author’ past younger self?
Among occasionally repulsive depictions and the majesty of natural descriptions, Donna Tartt ties the reader’s tongue with anxiety and leaves an vague aftertaste of dizziness in his mouth.

“Underlying a vapid silence – a terrible silence, as if the world had ended and most of the people in it had died – the painful awareness of Libby’s house shut up and vacant only a few streets away. Lawn unmowed, flower beds browned and sizzling with weeds; inside, the mirrors empty pools without reflection and the sunlight and moonlight gliding indifferently through the rooms.”

By Fabrizio Giulimondi

I highly recommend you read this great book… Rated: — [rating=5]

 

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