Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life will kill your heart. Once finished, you will need to binge watch Disney movies for days. But, this book. A life changer.
A Little Life is a mystery/romance/straight-up literary read about four boys right out of college who move to New York to start their careers. Willem, JB, Malcolm and Jude; actor, artist, architect and lawyer. Yanagihara throws you directly into the thick of things, so some readers may find it difficult to navigate the beginning, as you must sort out who is who. Do not give up. Understanding comes quickly after the first few chapters.
As in real life, all of the boys are somewhat broken, but the meat of the book centers around Jude. Jude is damaged, physically and mentally. He doesn’t talk about it, his friends don’t ask. Not surprisingly, Jude finds myriads of ways to hurt himself, and by extension, them. How does he deserve these friends?
In the most simple, beautiful language I have ever read, Yanagihara writes about self-harm, suicide, depression, abuse, victim-hood, orphan-hood, trauma, friendship, relationships, love and family. This 2015 Man Booker Prize finalist is a must-read and has become one of my top five reads of all time!