A Little Life

Unless you were raised by the Walton’s you may want to skip this book. Not only has Jude St. Francis suffered mind-numbing amounts of emotional abuse, the sexual and physical abuse has left him physically handicapped. He has more than enough to be bitter about. He certainly could be excused for locking himself away and never engaging in any meaningful interaction with a single soul. And yet he doesn’t do that. Instead he chooses to limp along – metaphorically and physically – trying to make for himself a little life.

A Little Life broke my heart. I know. Science techno-geeks are supposed to have pocket protectors where their heart should be, but in the same way that the Tin Man broke what he didn’t know had, this book crushed me.

It wasn’t just the story. It wasn’t just Jude’s attempts and his musings on how things should work. Or his struggles to trust and to know whom to trust. Or the way he kept getting up to give it another go. It was the writing as well. Aside from a very unfortunate sentence in the opening and a few clunkers elsewhere in the novel, the writing was moving enough that it could have been a shopping list and brought you to tears.

I wouldn’t want to enter Jude’s world again – no way I’m reading it a second time – and I was so happy to finish the last page and put it away, but it was so well done and so beautifully written that I will definitely be looking forward to future works by Hanya Yanagihara.

Get your copy here: A Little Life

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