The Goldfinch

In My Favorites on May 12, 2014 at 2:30 am


 by Donna Tartt

©2013/771 pages/Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

Publisher Summary (Goodreads):

“The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.”–Stephen King,

The New York Times Book Review Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

My Thoughts: This a serious read and truly requires a commitment, but, in my opinion, it is well worth the read. As more than one reviewer has stated, “The Goldfinch” is a brilliantly written, compelling book. My thoughts exactly! The writing was truly incredible. I found myself stopping frequently to reread a sentence or passage just because it was so well written.  The plot chronicles how Theo’s life progressed after the death of his mother in a terrorist attack and how he worked through his grief. Though there were parts in the plot that were so depressing and detailed (especially the drug scenes) and parts that just seemed not really credible, I never once thought of just stopping mid-book. There were many secondary characters throughout the book that also added depth and interest to the plot,  and the author masterfully developed each one, especially Hobie and Boris.  Without giving anything away, the ending was well thought out and will stay with me for a long time. It is one of those books that you almost want to re-read because you know you will continue to get more out of it each time you read it. It is one of those books that you want to find out who else has read it so you can talk to them about it. It is just one of those books that you won’t soon forget.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Other Thoughtful Reviews That Could Serve Well as Stimulating Book Club Discussion  (because this is a book that you need to talk about!)



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