Just finished A Little Life and I’m not sure what to say about it. First, my face looked the the man on the cover’s face while reading most of this book. It was HEAVY. If you are a squeamish this book may not be for you, there were more than a few times where I would suck in my breath and start speed reading to get to the next page. It was HEARTBREAKING. So many times it looked like things were on the upswing and then Yanagihara would bluntly bring you back down which something that we just terrible. But it was also BREATHTAKING. I mean, I am not a person that usually reads 820 paged books, but I couldn’t put this one down. There were times that I would read a sentence so striking that I would sit dumbly, staring out of a coffee shop window, thinking about what I just read. I would definitely put this on a short list of my favorite books of all time, right up there with House of the Spirits and True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but I don’t know if I would ever read it again like I have with the others. I mean, this book made me cry in a coffee shop! I am not explaining this well, here is what it says on the jacket:
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.
I was drawn to it because I love a good epic story. I love it when authors go deep into not only the characters’ lives but the lives of the people around them. It’s one of the reasons why I love Allende so much! This book is just so beautiful and sad and inspiring and depressing at the same time. Ugh. I don’t know what else to say, I just finished it yesterday so maybe I will write more when I am done processing but I just wanted to tell you to read it as soon as I had a copy to loan out! Let me know if you want it!