• Margo De Weerdt

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

Updated: May 25, 2021

A dear friend of mine recommended this book to me in 2019. (Do you remember that time before the entire CIVID-19 hassle?) She lent me her copy, and I buried myself in this story for 4 days. I just couldn’t stop reading. It’s been a year and a half since I read this book. It still is the best book I’ve read in that year and a half. I haven’t found anything since that lives up to it. It is still on my mind from time to time, it has set its teeth in my brain and hasn’t let go.

The book revolves around four friends who graduated college in Massachusetts and move to New York: the charming Willem, an aspiring actor, the witty and sometimes cruel JB, a painter who wants to make it in the art world, the indecisive Malcolm, a frustrated architect working for a big firm and the enigmatic, silent Jude, who’s presence influences all their lives. You follow all four of them throughout their lives, with all the heartbreak, celebration, pride, ambitions that entail life and the decades that follow their graduation. And as the book progresses, you feel that Jude and his silent secrets, become their focus.

This is a very short introduction, you find something likewise on the back cover. I can’t say anything else, it’ll spoil it. This book is heartbreaking, stunning and still to this day, left me with thinking material to go over and over. When reading it, I didn’t want it to end and experienced so many emotions. Yes people, I cried near the end. (This is not a book for the faint hearted, if you don’t like trauma in a story this maybe isn’t your cup of tea.)

Go read it. It’s amazing.

Thank you Liese, my dear friend, for bringing this story onto my path. Since then, I’ve gifted this book more than once to friends and family.