by Donna Tartt
Twelve year old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city and her serene sister rarely notices anything. In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who--when she was only a baby--was found hanging dead from a black tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family, in the years since, recovered from the tragedy. For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard stories about or glimpsed in photograph albums. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her 12 years and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet's sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child's play: it is dark, adult and all too menacing. A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice.
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