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The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

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A beautiful new limited edition paperback of The Little Friend, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list.

The sunlit rails gleamed like dark mercury, arteries branching out silver from the switch points; the old telegraph poles were shaggy with kudzu and Virginia creeper and, above them, rose the water tower, its surface all washed out by the sun. Harriet, cautiously, stepped towards it in the weedy clearing. Around and around it she walked, around the rusted metal legs.

One day is never, ever discussed by the Cleve family. The day that nine-year-old Robin was found hanging by the neck from a tree in their front garden. Twelve years later the family are no nearer to uncovering the truth of what happened to him.

Inspired by Houdini and Robert Louis Stevenson, twelve-year-old Harriet sets out to find her brother's murderer - and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.

The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series

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Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

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The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

If you like Donna Tartt you might also like to read books by Pauline Melville, Justin Cartwright and Kate Atkinson.


The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her brother Robin twelve years earlier, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini, and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Hely to find Robin's murderer and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.


'In a literary age of diet and dearth, Tartt invites us to feast ... the opening tragedy strikes a note of rich, flamboyant Southern Gothic that resonates throughout' Independent

'You will rarely have read better ... Because of Tartt's mastery of suspense, this book will grip readers all the way through to its bitter end' Guardian

'Tartt's grip on this billowing plot is glue-like and her ability to evoke the Deep South of last century exceptional ... excellent, enthralling' Marie Claire, Book of the Month

'Destined to become a special kind of classic - a book that precocious young readers pluck from their parents' shelves and devour with surreptitious eagerness, thrilled to discover a writer who seems at once to read their minds and to offer up the sweet-and-sour fruits of exotic, forbidden knowledge' New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt was educated at the University of Mississippi and Bennington College. She lives in Mississippi and New York City.

Photograph © Timothy Greenfield

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Book Info

Publication date

21st September 2017


Donna Tartt

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Bloomsbury Publishing


720 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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