The Goldfinch


The Goldfinch
By Donna Tartt.

At nearly 800 pages long, this book is a substantial investment of your time. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

The characters, the locations, the plot twists. This book is Dickensian in its scope.

Theo Decker is 13years old when his life is torn apart. The only thing he has left that he values is a tiny painting: The Goldfinch. This painting runs throughout the book connecting each part and reminding him of his loss, but also giving him hope as his life spirals out of control. But it’s not just a literary prop, it serves a meaningful part in the story as it evolves.

Theo’s loss, pain, grief, sorrow are writ large throughout this book; it is heartbreaking. Even in its lighter moments; fooling around with Boris (one of the best characters ever created) in Vegas, the pair of them are so disfunctional and self-destructive that you know it can’t end well.

The problem with Theo’s life, and probably the same in real life, is that as a damaged person he is drawn to other damaged people. His love for Pippa is a modern day Pip and Estella.

As the book moves on, Theo grows up, and a thrilling denouement in Amsterdam beckons and you find yourself not wanting the book to end.

This is a glorious, stupendous, soaring tale of what it is to be human. To suffer loss and have no hope. To keep going because the people around you are hopeless as well. I don’t want to make it sound depressing and cold because it is anything but. It is heartbreaking, but it is also glorious and beautiful. It is an absolute masterpiece. The best book I have read in the last 10 years, if not longer. I give it a full 5 stars.



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