In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who - when she was only a baby - was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family recovered from the tragedy.
For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard about in stories. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her 12 years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet's sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child's play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing.
A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice. A novel of breathtaking ambition and power, it is rich in moral paradox, insights into human frailty, and storytelling brilliance.
"An exceptionally suspenseful, flawlessly written story fairly teeming with outsize characters and roiling emotion." (
Booklist, Starred Review)
"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 ruthlessly precise reckoning of the world as it is...filtered through the bright colors and impossible demands of childhood perception." ( The New York Times Book Review)
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