The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
If you Google Donna Tartt on the web, you’ll quickly find catchphrases such as The Donna Tartt Shrine and The Cult of Donna Tartt. If you are a fan, you will nod and smile and totally understand. It has been an excruciatingly long (10 years!) since her last novel, The Little Friend. As a fan, when I heard about the release of The Goldfinch I was a little bit beside myself.
With a magical blend of storytelling wizardry that is tragic, unsettling, redeeming, and above all, always achingly beautiful, Tartt can tell a tale like nobody’s business. She will break your heart with her trademark lush prose and insane talent and appreciation of even the most minute and mundane aspects of life (really, who else can make you actually care about the wood grain finish on an antique highboy?)
You will find yourself totally immersed in this haunting tale about a teenage boy, Theo Decker, who loses his mother in an art museum explosion. This fateful event and the painting linked to it is the heart of the story and will define the rest of Theo’s life. With a charismatic cast of characters that will love, influence, and yes even damage Theo, the scope of this epic tale is so far ranging and complex that it’s difficult to encapsulate every wonderful thing about it.
But be warned: this hefty tome is not for the meek of heart. If you like an easy beach read, this book is not for you. If you like to zip through a story in a few days, this book is not for you. No, the almost-800 pages will consume you; you will be thinking about it for days afterward, feeling bereft and wanting to ruminate about the characters who felt like your intimate family and friends for an all-too brief period of time.
Words cannot do justice to describe the splendor of this work. If you read no other book this year you must choose this tour de force from Donna Tartt and experience what everyone else in the literary world will be soon be gushing about!
Order in Bibz.