Book: A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Synopsis: A Little Life follows four college classmates-broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition- as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly binds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.
My Review: I have heard many positive reviews about this book. It was nominated for many awards in 2016 including the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Upon first glance, I knew this book would be a whopper. It is 816 pages in total and I figured it would take me a while to read it. It took me 24 days.
The book begins shortly after the four friends, Jude, JB, Malcolm, and Willem, finished college and begin their careers. Jude was a lawyer, JB a painter, Malcolm an architect, and Willem an actor.
This book touched me on an emotional level. The characters shined on their own and through their friendship with Jude. Jude, the central character of the book, was the character I loved the most. His horrific childhood, marred by abuse and cruelty, was hard to read about but helped me understand his actions.
I found myself rooting for Jude throughout the book. I was happy when he was happy, I was sad when he was sad. I was boiling with anger when he discussed the atrocities performed against him as a child and I too wanted to find Caleb and kick his ass after what he did. I understood his desire to find the meaning of his life because I seek to find meaning in my own.
This book was long but worth the read. I felt connected to the characters and the relationships were well thought out and written, not haphazardly slapped together. The stories of each guy flowed with one another as did the stories of some of the other main characters. I enjoyed Jude’s relationship with Harold, his old law school professor, and I felt his relationship with Willem, Malcolm, and JB was genuine and deep.
This book is good. The content is sharp at times and hauntingly descriptive, some scenes may be very hard to read, but overall I enjoyed this book and the plot was easy to follow. I would recommend this book to readers of adult fiction, and for anyone who wants to read outside of their usual genres.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars
Purchasing Information: I bought this book for $17.99 at Barnes & Noble, paperback edition.