“He experienced the singular pleasure of watching people he loved fall in love with other people he loved.” – Jude

This post is quite different but I thought I should talk about it.

A few months ago I read a book titled ‘A Little Life’ by American author Hanya Yanagihara whose book I thoroughly enjoyed. This has been one I have felt intellectually, mentally and emotionally stimulated and enveloped by its characters, struggles and plot. The complex and intertwined relationships of the four main characters and timeline spanning young adulthood to middle-age shifts the reader into the continual emotional, intrapersonal and interpersonal development of its characters undefined by identifiable events that explore the progression, growth and healing of its leads. Supported by its secondary characters Yanagihara instils the analysis and depiction of her ‘Jude’ as a tormented, highly intelligent, identity starved individual deeply embattled by insecurities and minimal/non existent self-worth. Offering an view removed from fundamental self-hatred and criticism, Yanagihara encourages understanding and empathy (to others this may be pity or sympathy) to issues faced by her main protagonist despite the heft and despondent nature of his fundamental being.

The heavy graphical visual depictions of child abuse and dark psychological and mental struggles depicted in the book may not be for some readers as even for myself I had to take a moment. However, it offers a painting of relationships, friendships, and outlook on the human condition supplemented by an intricate and intimate look upon characters and their intertwining effects and relationships with one another and the struggle for self-acceptance and contentment in the face of ongoing internal battles providing an engaging look into the characters’ respective worlds and own minds.

Yanagihara provides an exploration of human worth that at its completion leaves this reader satisfied and content in its resolution.

In short ‘A Little Life’ is one I highly recommend.

– A.T