A LITTLE LIFE
BY HANYA YANAGIHARA
A powerful, far reaching memorable epic
'A Little Life' is a brilliant, graphic yet harrowing story, which we all agreed was at times impossible to read, yet impossible not to read. It tells the story of four male college friends based in New York and their journey into adulthood. Willem is trying to be an actor, Malcolm an architect, JB a painter and Jude a lawyer. As their friendship and careers develop, the story particularly centres on that of Jude St Francis, who has been left very damaged from an abusive upbringing which he can never truly escape, despite the love and support of those around him.
This is not a light read, and too long, but it is for the most part un-put-down-able. Some of the observations about life make you want to write them down for future reference and it touches on all those areas of abuse and mental health with such courage and honesty that sometimes we would have to stop reading just to catch our breath.
All four men become successful in their own right, yet success doesn’t necessarily bring happiness or fulfilment and it is the realisation that despite having attained their career dreams, there is still the underlying darkness and sadness which Yana explores both so beautifully and brutally. When you have finished the book, the characters will stay with you and we know you will be glad you have read it.
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