Publisher: Back Bay Books
Release Date: April 07, 2015
Genre: Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Goodreads Average: 3.90 *As of 8/26/2019*
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 combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
What it’s about: After Theo’s mom dies in a horrible accident that he survives, Theo bounces around from a friend’s house, to his dad’s home in Vegas, and back to an unexpected ally named Hobie in New York. The Goldfinch follows Theo’s life from just before the accident to when he is an adult and finds himself in a world of trouble.
I literally have no idea how Tartt managed to put together such a long and soulful read, but she did, and I mean wow – it is clear she is an incredibly talented writer. The Goldfinch is incredibly descriptive, philosophical, and it really makes you think. I really liked Theo as a character even when he was at his worst and I wanted to smack him across the head. The tragedy he goes through and the action he takes throughout his life shape who he is and makes for an interesting reading experience.
I did think the end was drug out a little and it could have been a good 50-100 pages shorter, but overall, I was really impressed with how this 771-page book managed to keep me engaged. It would make a wonderful book club book, and I’m so glad I read it as a buddy/group read.
The Goldfinch is also heavy with art and furniture details, and many things I didn’t know at all. It was not only a learning experience, but an emotional ride as well. This is a book that is going to stick with me for a long time to come, and I can’t wait to see it in movie form.
Song/s the book brought to mind: Back to Black by Amy Winehouse & So American by Portugal. The Man.
Final Thought: I recommend reading The Goldfinch in some sort of group/buddy read setting so you can discuss with others, and I also highly recommend reading other books in between. I think this is a good one to take your time with and break into sections, so it isn’t as overwhelming. Almost 800 pages is no joke, and for a mood reader like me it really helped that this wasn’t the only book I was reading for 4 weeks. Heavy, descriptive, and haunting, this book is not for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for a long book with substance this is definitely it! I can’t wait to read more by this author and to be further amazed by her skill.
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5