You know those books that are life changing? The books that make it impossible to read anything else after them because nothing could ever be as good as that book? Yeah, A Little Life is one of those.

This book is quite actually the opposite of little, it’s massive in fact, which intimidated me when I picked it up. But once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. It’s the second novel by New York based author Hanya Yanaghihara and it recently was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

A Little Life is the lifetime story of four (male) friends living in downtown New York, that focuses on the intricacies of friendship, memory and as Man Booker wrote “the limits of human endurance”. This sounds lovely and nice, but this book is heartbreaking. One of the four main characters, Jude, has had the upbringing made of nightmares and honestly, it was sometimes hard to read the stories of his youth, but man was it powerful. I couldn’t recommend it more, and everyone I know who has read it has said the same. Yes, you will probably read this in bed at night, alone and crying, but doesn’t it feel so good to be moved that deeply by a work of fiction every once in a while?