Book Summary: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara Book Cover

A Little Life is a novel by Hanya Yanagihara that was first published in 2015. The book follows the life of four friends who meet at college and go on to pursue their dreams in New York City. The novel explores themes of friendship, love, loss, and the impact of trauma on one’s life.

Chapter Summaries

  • Chapter 1: The novel begins with the introduction of Jude St. Francis, one of the four main characters. Jude is a young man who was abandoned by his parents as a baby and grew up in a series of foster homes. He is now attending college in New York City and struggling to make ends meet.
  • Chapter 2: Jude meets Willem, a wealthy young man who is attending college on a scholarship. The two become friends and soon fall in love. Meanwhile, Jude’s roommate, Caleb, becomes involved with a woman named Maggie.
  • Chapter 3: Jude and Willem move in together and begin a life together. However, Jude’s past continues to haunt him and he struggles with feelings of isolation and depression.
  • Chapter 4: Jude and Willem meet Andy, a young man who is struggling with his own demons. The three become friends and begin to explore New York City together.
  • Chapter 5: Jude’s past comes back to haunt him when he is reunited with his birth mother. However, the reunion is not what he had hoped for and he is left feeling more alone than ever.
  • Chapter 6: Jude’s life takes a turn for the worse when he is injured in a terrible accident. He spends months in the hospital recovering and is left with a new set of physical and emotional challenges.
  • Chapter 7: Jude’s friends rally around him and help him through his recovery. However, he continues to struggle with feelings of isolation and depression.
  • Chapter 8: Jude’s life takes another turn when he is introduced to a new therapist who helps him confront his past and begin to heal.
  • Chapter 9: Jude’s relationship with Willem becomes strained as he struggles to come to terms with his own feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Chapter 10: Jude’s life takes yet another turn when he is reunited with his birth father. However, the reunion is not what he had hoped for and he is left feeling more alone than ever.
  • Chapter 11: Jude’s friends rally around him once again and help him through his latest crisis.
  • Chapter 12: The novel ends with Jude beginning to find a sense of peace and acceptance in his life.
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Conclusion

A Little Life is a powerful and moving novel that explores the impact of trauma on one’s life. Through the story of Jude and his friends, the novel offers a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of themes such as friendship, love, loss, and the power of healing. Whether you are a fan of literary fiction or simply looking for a moving and engaging read, A Little Life is a novel that is sure to resonate with you.

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