Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” is simply brilliant – and “The Secret History” and “The Little Friend” are not that far behind.
If I have a criticism of “The Little Friend” it’s really a banal one: it’s a bit too long… The last chapter, where it really picks up the pace (and obviously builds on all that has gone before) is the kind of writing that’s difficult to break away from; you simply have to finish reading it. Personally, I would have liked all that went before to be a little more succinct – but maybe that’s just me.
Whatever, there’s not getting away from the fact that Tartt writes really well and her books are simply a cut above. If you were reading her for the first time, without doubt I’d start with “The Goldfinch”. “The Little Friend” might be marginally the weakest, but there will still be thousands of people who wished they’d written it – probably me included.