Regular price: £25.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Editor reviews

Winner of the WH Smith Literary Awards 2003, The Little Friend is written by Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt, with an audiobook narration by the brilliant voice artist Laurel Lefkow. A little boy is found murdered in the front garden of his Mississippi town, the mystery of his death never solved. His sister is the only person who delves deep into the very roots of the community to uncover his killer. This novel is all at once gripping, tense, suspenseful and addictive. It is the work of a master writer. Available now from Audible.

Summary

The second novel by Donna Tartt, best-selling author of The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize), The Little Friend is a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil.

The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later, Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated.

So it is that Robin's sister Harriet - unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson - sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town's rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family's history of loss.

Filled with hairpin turns of plot and "a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens" (The New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.

©2002 Donna Tartt (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"A dazzling tour de force” ( Daily Mail)
"Beautifully written and immaculately crafted ... even though there's humour, the tension is palpable. Unputdownable” ( Daily Mirror)
"Harriet is one of the most engaging and rounded characters you are likely to find ... gorgeous, fluent, visual." ( The Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    198
  • 4 Stars
    159
  • 3 Stars
    117
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    241
  • 4 Stars
    159
  • 3 Stars
    69
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    170
  • 4 Stars
    137
  • 3 Stars
    109
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    25
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning

Exquisite writing. Beautiful with palpable tension from a child's innocent point of view. Highly recommend any word that Donna Tartt writes

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Her third best book but still a wonderful story

Great slice of Americana. Brilliantly told, lovely characters and a cracking yarn.
Now I just have to wait ten years for the next Donna Tartt novel...
I really enjoyed it



10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • WEST BYFLEET, United Kingdom
  • 10-05-15

Brilliant

This is my favourite of the 3 books I have read, the story captivates from the start, and at times I was caught up in all the drama and was tense listening, all good.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not impressed

The book is very slow. Tried very hard to finish it but could not get into it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A beginning, middle but no end

14 hours of listening. An interesting premises, developed characters but no ending. Worse than all the TV series that should have finished after season 1 or 2. Enjoyable well written prose but an incomplete story.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not her best but still a fab listen!

If you could sum up The Little Friend in three words, what would they be?

Enjoyable, long, intriguing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably the main character. She was interesting, believable and I felt like I understood her decisions.

What does Laurel Lefkow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Enthusiasm.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It is a long book, however there are some fab moments including the snakes!
The beginning is quite sad and it is thought provoking.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

DIsappointingly boring

I chose this book as I enjoyed her previous book, Greenfinch. Sadly, I was disappointed by how tedious I found the present book. I've given up at chapter 8 after over 10 hours of listening daunted by the prospect of 14 more hours. Lots of characters that don't grab my interest populating a series of over-detailed stories, full of descriptive and simile-laden writing but lacking any narrative drive. I gather that if I had persevered for many more hours the story would pick up, but I couldn't be bothered to wait that long. I can see that the book evokes the atmosphere of the south eastern states of the USA, but it needed a narrative thread to carry the reader/listener thought the book rather than being a series of vignettes.

I can see that I'm in a minority of reviewers but I have to be honest that it bored me.

The narrator is very good, but that wasn't enough to keep me listening.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A wonderful read

I was advised that The Little Friend lacked the impact and readability of the Goldfinch.
I disagree; it is every bit as beautifully written and engaging. The characters are drawn with such detail that it is as though they impact on all my senses.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A slow build up and a fast steep end

Where does The Little Friend rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A recommendation by my friend led me to go through this slow moving story until the last 100 odd pages. Engaging and tantalising but left me with various emotions.

What could Donna Tartt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Madam, you could have brought things around full circle. More clarity and the denouement was executed a little slovenly.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

GRIPPING. Fairly well read and paced. The accent grated somewhat but typical of I assumed the local region.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not entirely. Felt like fast forwarding till I reached the good bits.

Any additional comments?

Could be better.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So boring I couldn't finish it

A monotonous story, read in a monotonous voice, with no real focus, nothing page turning, I'm very disappointed having loved other Donna Tartt books. There seems no purpose to the narrative other than sending you to sleep. Awful, awful, awful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful