A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Reviewed by Casey

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Jude is abandoned in childhood, taken in by a monastery, and named after the saint of lost causes. His early years are long and painful, and as an adult he continuously struggles to get beyond his violent past. He takes solace in his friends Williem, JB, and Malcolm, along with Harold, his former university professor who legally adopts him. But none of them are aware of Jude's former life, filled with secrets he's sure would be unforgivable by his makeshift family.

This 700-page character study can be overwhelming and bleak, with graphic depictions of abuse and physical suffering. However, these are some of the most wonderfully written, warm, and loving characters I've ever experienced, which makes this story oddly beautiful.

Rating: 5/5 stars