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Book Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This a beautiful, emotional and compelling book about four friends living in New York over the course of many years. There is the handsome and kind William, an actor. JB is a painter who is destined to be famous in the art world. Malcolm is an architect. Damaged, withdrawn, but brilliant Jude becomes a very successful lawyer. It is Jude’s story that dominates as the novel progresses, however. He is an increasingly broken man, damaged in body and soul. Learning about what happened to him in his childhood, as a slow reveal throughout the course of the novel, is completely heart-breaking.

I’ve found myself thinking about this extraordinary novel for a few months before writing this review. In many ways, I feel unable to describe how wonderful this book is, despite some of the difficult, agonizing content. In places this was an uncomfortable read, at times a hugely emotional read – but overall this is a novel that will stay with you for its haunting beauty and timelessness, with its overriding themes of love and friendship.


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