The Little Friend

  • by Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by Karen White
  • 25 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Secret History comes a dark, suspenseful novel of lost childhood. Harriet Dusfresnes is a child in Mississippi, haunted by the murder of her brother when she was just a baby. He was found hanging from a tree in their backyard; his killer was never identified, nor did the family ever recover. Only Harriet's teenage sister might have seen what happened that day, and she has blocked it out from her memory. Harriet grows up immured by the family's lasting grief, living mostly in a world of her own imagination. But her dead brother Robin is a link to lost happier times. Therefore, in the summer of her twelfth year, she decides to find his murderer and exact her revenge....

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What the Critics Say

"It is an exceptionally suspenseful, flawlessly written story." (Booklist)
"Tartt's second novel confirms her talent as a superb storyteller, sophisticated observer of human nature, and keen appraiser of ethics and morality." (Publishers Weekly)
"A terrific story...Tartt etches each of these characters with indelible assurance." (Newsweek)
"Languidly atmospheric...psychologically acute...A rich novel that takes you somewhere worth going." (The New Yorker)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Couldn't put it down

What made the experience of listening to The Little Friend the most enjoyable?

The richly drawn cast of characters is I think the main strength of this book. If you've ever spent time in the South, especially during the time frame she's set this story in, you will agree I think that she really nails it about how people interact, what small towns were like there, etc. The book revolves around an event that takes place (in memory) within the first chapter or so. The rest of the book is loosely organized around the mysterious circumstances that surround that event, a death. Eleven (?) year old Harriet, the central character, is worth the read all by herself. Donna Tarrt could not have done a better job in bringing her to life and making you care deeply about her. I laughed a lot as her thought processes unfolded, as she engaged in her amateur sleuth work, and as she enlisted the help of her adoring young friend with her plans. One reviewer mentioned Nancy Drew. Hardly. This is an adult book, with adult themes. I would challenge those who said it was too long to detail what parts of the plot/story they would have edited out. My book group could not come up with anything they'd have taken out, even though the length of the book is a bit daunting. It is a gripping story and you care deeply about many of the characters. The ending for many, including several in my book group, felt very unsatisfying, I will grant you that. But as we talked about it, we decided that this book was less mystery than it is a study of a time and a place and the ways in which people come to wrong conclusions based on their prejudices, misconceptions, and miscommunications. Those wrong conclusions change whole lives and can be tragic. Many things DO NOT get


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- Sam

The Little Friend's Friend

I stumbled across this book at the store and it caught my interest at once. When I got home I looked it up on audible...low and behold! After listening to this book and reading other people's reviews I feel compelled to share my own thoughts...I really enjoyed this book and was sad when it was over. I enjoyed Karen White's narration as well, though when I first sampled the book I wasn't sure what to think...Her voice grows on you and did for me rather quickly...she sets the tone of this story perfectly. I'm giving a four star review because Donna Tartt does tend to drag some of the more minor details out for way too long...I found my mind wandering more then once, but all in all, this is rich and grand story telling...Some people have complained that the novel ends with too much left in the air, but I don't think so, I felt the story ended where it should for what the story was about.
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- Nathaniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-26-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape