A friend gave me this book by Hanya Yanagihara, and if a friend gives me a book, I try to stick with it and read it to the end. I must admit that I struggled for the first 150 pages or so. And there were a total of 816 pages to get through … Why did I struggle? I didn’t really feel that I got to know the main protagonist, Jude, and that all the stories around him were meant to distract the reader away from him. Which is true, in a sense. I just had to stop being irritated by the distractions, enjoy the descriptions of New York, the people and their art, be it a painter’s or a lawyer’s artwork. Abuse is not an easy topic to tackle. And Jude’s story is full of it. Relentless, violent abuse. He survives, he is loved, but right until the end, to the very last of the 816 pages, the feeling didn’t leave me that he was hiding. But I’m glad I looked at the kaleidoscope that was his fictional life. If only to have met Willem.