Donna Tartt: The Little Friend

(2427 words)
  • Lindsay Sullivan (University of Wales, Cardiff)

Donna Tartt, in an essay entitled “The spirit and writing in a secular world”, says that the novel “addresses many of the same mysteries as does theology – questions of sin, suffering, mortality, fate”. This description is pertinent to Tartt’s The Little Friend, a novel that explores the interconnections of innocence and guilt. Tartt goes on to say: “At its best, the novel is a means to examine moral dilemmas without benefit of heaven or God”. The moral dilemmas of The Little Friend are complex and searching: the events of the novel focus around the attempts of the twelve and a half year-old Harriet Cleve Dufresnes to find out who killed her brother Robin. Harriet is a child playing in a grown-up …

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Sullivan, Lindsay. "The Little Friend". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]