As you may have guessed, Donna Tartt is one of my favourite authors. Her second novel The Little Friend seems to always be forgotten – in interviews, in articles, in praise and blurbs. I suppose the cult following of The Secret History drowned out the release of this book, and then the frenzy surrounding The Goldfinch swept it to the side. But, The Little Friend is a beautiful book, written (as always) with precision and care, every word is perfect.
The novel begins with the murder of a young boy Robin, right in the backyard. The incident changed the family forever, and years later, his younger sister Harriet, who is now twelve, swears to find and punish whoever killed Robin.
Snakes and madness. This book is full of snakes, set in Mississippi, how could it not be? But underlying the narrative is also madness – irrational decisions, asylums, memory loss, insomnia.
“And–since this willful amnesia had kept Robin’s death from being translated into that sweet old family vernacular which smoothed even the bitterest mysteries into comfortable, comprehensible form–the memory of that day’s events had a chaotic, fragmented quality, bright mirror-shards of nightmare which flared at the smell of wisteria, the creaking of a clothes-line, a certain stormy cast of spring light.”
The mad snakes and jailbird stripes, paired with the saturated colours and florals of Gorman’s winter collection captures the essence of Tartt’s hot Mississippi summers.
Gorman winter collection can be found here.